The Heating, Airconditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) joined the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace to become one of nearly 30 other national trade associations and countless regional and state organizations to create a coalition against H.R. 800 or the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act”.
Otherwise referred to as the “Card Check” bill, it would amend the National Labor Relations Act that was signed into law by Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 by enabling unions to be formed and certified as negotiating bodies with signatures on union authorization cards from a majority of employees without any secret ballot ratification.
“Essentially, well-compensated and content employees could come into work one day to learn that they now must join a new union that was formed overnight without their approval or lose their job. Even worse, they may come home to find union representatives at their door trying to force their hand to sign an authorization card for a union they don’t want,” stated HARDI Executive Vice President COO, Donald Frendberg. “HVACR distribution has traditionally had very little unionization because most employees of these businesses-- many family-run-- are extremely loyal, long-tenured employees who are well treated and feel a close connection to their employer. Competition for talent is fierce so the market dictates fair wages and benefits resulting in no need or desire for unionization,” continued Frendberg.
The Coalition fears that if passed, H.R. 800 would strip American workers of the right to vote by secret ballot votes. Further, workers could be coerced or misled to sign authorization cards or may sign simply so they will be left alone by harassing organizers. “Frankly, HARDI’s interest in this fight isn’t anti-union as it is pro-democracy and protection of the rights of our employees,” argued Mark Faessler, current HARDI President and owner of Progress Supply, Inc. based in Cincinnati, OH.
This proposed legislation has been fast-tracked out of the House Education and Labor Committee and could possibly reach the House floor by month’s end. HARDI is promoting the Coalition’s website, www.myprivateballot.com, to its members which provides tools for grassroots opposition to the bill as well as testimonials, news, and background information on the issue.
HARDI member companies and all companies supportive of the democratic rights of their employees are encouraged to contact their elected representatives and express their strong opposition to this bill.