Chamber panel opposes ‘card check’

Committee denies Rep. Salazar’s pleas for support of union bill

After hearing from U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., a sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act, a business organization voted Tuesday to oppose the act.

The governmental affairs committee of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce voted unanimously to oppose the act, also referred to as “card-check” legislation.

In a video teleconference with the committee from Washington, D.C., Salazar said he cosponsored the measure because he needs a seat at the table to discuss the measure.

Opponents of the legislation have focused their criticism on the provision that would eliminate the need for a secret-ballot election once a majority of employees at a business had signed cards calling for formation of a union.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes the measure.

Salazar said he wanted to look out for the interests of employees who were being “chastised” by employers, but that he also realized the needs of employers.

“We don’t want to hurt business,” Salazar told the committee. “But we have to look out for the employees, for their choices, as well.”

The committee voted unanimously to oppose the measure and to communicate its opposition to Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, both Democrats.

Bennet said last month in Grand Junction he had not made up his mind on the measure. Udall has supported similar measures in the past.

The secret-ballot election would make employees vulnerable to intimidation by union representatives, committee members said.

“We’re talking about employees’ basic rights,” said Phyllis Norris, president of City Market grocery stores.


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