Alexander: “Employee No Choice Act Is the Most Radical Piece of Legislation Before Congress”

Says Congress Should Instead be Focused on the President’s Priorities like Health Care, Education, Fixing the Banks and Housing Markets

Posted on March 10, 2009

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today that the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill championed by union leaders that would allow union bosses to intimidate and pressure workers, should be called the “Employee No Choice Act” and is the most radical piece of legislation before Congress. “In my view, this legislation we are considering today is the most radical piece of legislation before the Congress,” Alexander said at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, of which he is a member. “It’s called the Employee Free Choice Act, but it ought to be called the Employee No Choice Act because it takes away the secret ballot.” Alexander is an original cosponsor of the Secret Ballot Protection Act, a bill designed to uphold the private vote by requiring that all efforts to organize unions be handled by secret ballot. It would reduce any public pressure that could be placed upon individuals by either their employer or fellow employees, which would reduce intimidation and strengthen freedom. “The Employee No Choice Act would take away the employee’s right to secret ballot, the right to force arbitration, and the question I would ask is: ‘Why are we having this debate right now?,’” Alexander continued. “There are plenty of very pressing issues being debated by Congress – all the President’s priorities like health care, education, fixing the banks and the housing market – yet apparently the first priority of the Democratic majority is to talk about taking away the secret ballot of union workers and employees and forcing arbitration. I think that’s a case of saying one thing and doing another. This is clearly the most divisive issue before the Senate and it will split us right down the middle and slow everything else important down that we ought to be working on if we continue.”