Washington, DC—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today reiterated its opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, which has been re-introduced in the House and Senate. The legislation aims to strip American workers of the right to a secret ballot when they decide whether or not to form a union.
“The Employee Free Choice Act was obviously named by someone with a flair for Orwellian doublespeak,” said NCFC President, Charles F. Conner. “Rather than expanding the rights of workers, it would strip away the right to a private ballot, one of the cornerstones of American democracy, and replace it with a public card check system open to intimidation and coercion.”
“Passage of card check is bad for U.S. business in general, but it would have an especially negative impact on U.S. agriculture,” Conner continued. “Given the size and structure of individual agricultural and agribusiness operations, and given the daily struggle many of our operations face during this economic crisis, agriculture can ill afford this legislation at this time.”
NCFC is calling on members of Congress to oppose the legislation, and is working to illustrate the devastating effect that passage would have on farmer cooperatives and their members across the country. NCFC has joined with other agricultural groups in the Agriculture for a Democratic Workplace coalition to oppose the measure. NCFC also belongs to the broader-based Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.
Conner concluded, “We need to make sure farmer cooperatives remain competitive and are incentivized to grow, creating new jobs. Passage of the EFCA will have the opposite effect.” NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives.
There are over 2,500 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 300,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.
Additional information about NCFC can be found at http://www.ncfc.org.