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Union Power

Sue Myrick, the Republican who North Carolina voters have returned to the House of Representatives six times since she was first elected in 1995, is, for obvious reasons, a strong believer in the ballot box. So much so that she had no hesitation in trotting out the American way as her reason for voting against The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) on March 1, when the House passed the legislation by a 241-185 vote.

"I was just re-elected to office by secret ballot," Myrick said soon after the vote. "How could I in good conscience turn around and vote for a bill that denied that same right to workers?"

"Free choice suggests an informed choice," says John Raudabaugh, a labor partner with Baker & McKenzie. "The EFCA effectively restricts the dissemination of information that makes a truly informed choice possible."

Contractual Obligations

If and when that occurs, many companies that have grown complacent about union organizing efforts will have to cope with a re-energized labor movement.

"Less than 7.5 percent of the American workforce is unionized and even that tends to be concentrated in certain sectors such as transportation," Raudabaugh says. "That's why there are few tried-and-true labor lawyers."


Julius Melnitzer

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