Why 'Card-Check' Forced Unionism Is Economically Harmful

For years, scientific opinion polls have shown that Americans overwhelmingly oppose federal labor laws that endow union officials with the power of so-called “exclusive” representation over all employees in a company unit, wherein union nonmembers are denied any right to bargain for themselves. But Organized Labor’s top priority in the 2007-2008 Congress, the inaptly named “Employee Free Choice” Act, would rewrite federal labor law to make it even easier for union officials to secure monopoly-bargaining privileges over employees.

Well aware that the American people oppose monopoly unionism, union officials are citing their legislation’s allegedly beneficial economic effects as the key reason for passing it. However, even a cursory look at the contrasting economic track records of states in which a relatively high share of employees are under union monopoly bargaining and states in which monopoly bargaining is relatively rare shows this case is phony.

The record shows that the prevalence of union monopoly bargaining is correlated with lower real incomes, higher living costs, slower growth in jobs and job benefits, and higher unemployment. The evidence is overwhelming that enactment of federal legislation that is designed to put millions of additional workers under union monopoly-bargaining control would be economically harmful, not beneficial.

If Congress really wants to bolster the U.S. economy and help employees and businesses, it should instead revise federal labor law to ensure that it respects the ability of each individual employee to choose whether or not to be represented by and furnish financial support for a labor union.

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