Anti-'card check' group asks for meeting with Obama

A coalition of business groups and other organizations opposed to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) wrote President Obama Wednesday, asking for a meeting with the president similar to one he held with labor groups earlier this week.

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, a confederation of 13 organizations opposed to EFCA (or "card check"), asked Obama for a meeting to explain their opposition to the union organizing legislation.

"According to media reports, you and your staff met recently with the leaders of several labor organizations, and the labor leaders discussed their continuing support for the [EFCA] to be brought to a vote in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives," the coalition wrote. "We would be pleased to meet, at your convenience, and bring you serious, reasoned arguments against card-check organizing and government-mandated, binding interest arbitration."

President Obama met with leaders of the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Change to Win, Teamsters, and other organized labor groups at the White House on Monday, during which the president reiterated his support for EFCA and other labor priorities, including healthcare reform.

The Coalition warned businesses would be hurt if EFCA became law, and noted that they "look forward" to a meeting with Obama.

View the full letter after the jump.

July 15, 2009
President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Dear President Obama,

The undersigned organizations, representing millions of employers and their employees---both union and non-union---are united in our opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act (S. 560/H.R. 1409), and also equally committed to actively engaging all interested parties in discussions about the negative impact that this legislation would have on the American workforce and our economy.

According to media reports, you and your staff met recently with the leaders of several labor organizations, and the labor leaders discussed their continuing support for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) to be brought to a vote in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

The fact is that EFCA will effectively deny employees the right to a secret ballot election during union organizing campaigns while also mandating binding interest arbitration on our nation's job creators. With that in mind, we would also appreciate an opportunity to discuss the full impact of EFCA on employees and job creators, and why it is imperative that EFCA not be brought to the floor for a vote in either chamber of Congress.

Our economy would lose thousands of jobs if EFCA becomes law. While labor leaders project that the passage of EFCA would result in 1.5 million new members each year, a recent economic study also shows that the bill would cost 600,000 jobs in the year after enactment. This legislation would be devastating, especially at a time when our economy is facing such high unemployment rates.

We would be pleased to meet, at your convenience, and bring you serious, reasoned arguments against card-check organizing and government-mandated, binding interest arbitration.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to meeting with you.

American Hotel & Lodging Association
Associated Builders and Contractors
Independent Electrical Contractors
International Council of Shopping Centers
International Foodservice Distributors Association
International Franchise Association
National Association of Manufacturers
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
National Federation of Independent Business
National Restaurant Association
National Retail Federation
Retail Industry Leaders Association
U.S. Chamber of Commerce