Congressman Tom Price

Washington – Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) had strong words against the Employee Free Choice Act today at the Conservative Bloggers’ Briefing, framing the debate in stark terms.

“It doesn’t make any sense-none, unless you are interested in intimidation and coercion and retribution…to have a public peition-signing to form a union,” said Price. “This is just another nail in the coffin of American liberty and American freedom. I for one, will not go quietly into the night.”

Congressman Price, leader of the Republican Study Committee, was echoed by Heritage’s James Sherk, a labor expert who has done extensive research on the EFCA. Sherk said the loss of the secret ballot was equaled only by the second provision in the bill.

 Section 3 of EFCA gives government officials the power to impose contracts on workers and firms. After a union organizes a business, there would a period of 130 days for management to offer them an “acceptable” contract. If the union does not agree, the matter would be sent to a federal arbitration board.

“The entire contract. The entire employment contract [between labor and management], everything that would normally be negotiated in the give and take of collective bargaining will instead be imposed by the government,” he said. “You’re handing virtually entire control of the workplace over to government bureaucrats for two years. There are no limitations on the arbitrator’s power. There is no appeals process…There’s no accountability for the arbitrator whatsoever…He has no stake whatsoever in the success of the contract.”

Although perhaps more difficult to understand than the idea of losing your right to a secret ballot, the government-imposed arbitration provision is potentially far more destructive to personal liberty and freedom.

“There is no employee free choice in the act,” Sherk declared.