Ira's reasons for opposing "Free Choice" Act

Dear Senator Nelson:

I know you are a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). I retired from the teaching profession last June after having served 30 years as a classroom teacher. Florida being a right to work state allowed me the freedom to choose whether or not I should be a union member. As a result, I spent part of my carrier as a union member in the United Teachers of Dade.

During much of that time, I became more active in union activities and was elected to a seat on the executive board. It was during this time I found myself appalled by the lack of respect the union leadership showed for the rank and file members.

My union was more concerned with politics and would pass out petitions and letters during Steward meetings purposely misrepresenting the facts and cohere the Stewards to sign the documents without even reading what they were signing.

My union was more concerned with political issues that did not benefit their membership than they were with the educational issues that impacted the classroom. Since I refused to walk in lock step, I was pressured to resign my position and at the same time, I resigned my union membership.

I know that what I have stated before has nothing to with the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) since Florida is a right to work state and each employee maintains the right to choose whether or not to become a union member.

The issues I have with the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is that the secret ballot elections, the method by which most workers join unions are replaced with publicly signed union cards.

Intimidation tactics will be employed, as workers publicly in front of union organizers must decide whether or not to join a union. This is coercion and does away with an election, as the sign card that workers normally sign for an election, will now be counted toward a card check majority. So much for democracy!

The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is Un-American. Workers hear only one side of the story and face tremendous harassment and pressure.

The public cards do not reflect employee preferences. Union organizers return to the homes of workers who do not sign at first, and continuously pressure them to change their minds. Since their choice does not remain private, those who refuse to sign are subject to intimidation and threats.

A friend today brought me a letter addressed to you from his union thanking you for sponsoring this act. He and many of his fellow workers were coerced into signing these letters and most were not given the opportunity to read what they were signing.

I hope you will take a look at this issue and realize there is another side to this issue besides the union talking points.

Thank you for allowing me to bring this important matter to your attention and I hope I was successful in pointing out some of the fallacies in the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).


Ira J. Paul