CACI delegation to lobby Bennet and Udall to oppose card check legislation

The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (CACI), the statewide chamber of commerce with nearly 500 members, will send a delegation to Washington, D.C. March 31 and April 1 to lobby Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet against the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), also known as “card check” union organizing legislation. The highly-controversial bill would effectively strip employees of a private ballot in union organizing drives, hand the federal government power to dictate workplace pay and benefits, and force unfair mandates on small business, according to CACI.

“We hope to convince Senators Bennet and Udall that the card check bill is bad for Colorado’s workers and businesses, and would cripple our state’s economy,” said Peter O’Connor, CACI Board Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer of AngloGoldAshanti N.A.“Our message is clear: oppose any advancement of this bill; there is no compromise.”

CACI says that the Colorado delegation will be particularly interested in conversations with Senator Bennet, who remains undecided on the bill and whose vote could be critical in determining whether supporters can gather the necessary 60 votes to advance the bill. Senators Blanche Lincoln, D- Arkansas, and Mark Warner, D-Virginia, are undecided on the proposal and also considered key votes in the Senate.

The “fly-in” event is a major effort organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to raise Congressional awareness for EFCA’s negative impact on business. Previously on March 10, delegations from Louisiana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Virginia flew in to lobby against “card check.” Next week, delegations of business leaders and community representatives from such states as Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, North Dakota and Montana will also visit the U.S. capitol to voice opposition to “card check” to their elected officials.

EFCA was introduced this session in the House on March 10 with 223 original co-sponsors in the House and 40 co-sponsors in the Senate, not including Senator Udall. This represents seven fewer co-sponsors in the House and seven fewer in the Senate than when introduced in 2007, despite expanded majorities supposedly sympathetic to the bill. The legislation fell just nine votes shy of moving forward in the Senate in 2007.