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Small Business Leaders Show Support for Employee Free Choice

03.20.09

Small Business Leaders Show Support for Employee Free Choice

by Seth Michaels, Mar 17, 2009

http://blog.aflcio.org/2009/03/17/small-business-leaders-show-support-for-employee-free-choice/

Across the country, it’s not just union members and community allies who support the Employee Free Choice Act and workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain. Many business owners also realize the Employee Free Choice Act will lead to an economy that’s stronger and sustainable in the long term, and more than 250 business leaders have endorsed the Employee Free Choice Act.

Many small business owners and entrepreneurs understand that everyone benefits when there’s greater purchasing power among America’s workers and a well-trained, motivated and productive workforce.

Check out this report from Sara Wallenfang of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, who attended a community meeting at a Milwaukee job training center, where local business leaders talked about why they support the Employee Free Choice Act.

Pat McKenna, the owner of Union Copy Centers Inc., says his company and his state have prospered thanks in part to unions. He hopes the Employee Free Choice Act passes to give more workers the ability to bargain for the fair treatment they deserve.

Darren Horndasch, the president of Wisconsin Vision, has more than 200 employees and says having a union in his workplace has helped him retain qualified employees and provide strong customer service.

I think our single biggest competitive advantage is having strong employees who understand, who look at it as a career, who take the training very seriously.

In addition, he says, it’s important to the future of employees to ensure good wages and benefits across the industry by giving more workers the ability to form unions and bargain.

We have to maintain a good working middle class. If we don’t have a strong working middle class, my business isn’t going to exist.

Jim Maples, the owner of Vinton Construction, says as a small business owner it’s critical that he can work with the Operating Engineers to get his workers access to health coverage and retirement savings. Working with a union, he says, helps relieve a burden that otherwise would make it hard for him to hire workers.

These business owners don’t buy the spin from big corporations that are trying to fight the Employee Free Choice Act. They know an economy that workers for everyone is a stronger, healthier economy.

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