Today, the Center for Union Facts sent a letter to members of the United States Senate exposing a phony “coalition of businesses” that support the Employee Free Choice Act as a union aligned group that is deliberately deceiving the public.
“Business Leaders for a Fair Economy is a front group for a few financial companies who stand to profit from forced unionization,” said Rick Berman, Executive Director of the Center for Union Facts. “Although they claim to be a ‘coalition of 1,000 businesses,’ it publicly turns out to actually be a hodge-podge of fewer than 200 non-profits, union consultants, and businesses that don’t even exist.”
“It speaks volumes when a union front group has to use fake companies to establish their Potemkin Coalition,” Berman concluded.
The text of the letter is below:
Earlier this week you received a letter advocating the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act from a group called Business Leaders for a Fair Economy (BLFE). In that letter BLFE claimed to have 1,000 business as members, but did not list who those members were. The source code for BLFE’s website, www.faireconomynow.org, however inadvertently reveals that there are only 188 “members” in their coalition. Far from representing the business community as a whole, these members include many non-profit organizations, consultants who work exclusively with unions, asset management firms that handle union pension funds, and companies that do not even exist.
Drilling past their “188” members, BLFE has an advisory board which consists of four members, of which American Income Life is the only major corporation. American Income Life (AIL) is funded largely by the insurance premiums directed to them paid by union officials. It is clear that AIL has an enormous stake in a piece of legislation that would force millions more Americans into unions.
Beyond that, AIL has its own P.R. problems. Its business model relies on a sales force working on a 100% commission basis, who also pay union dues and undergo unpaid training for weeks.
Other members of the “coalition” include:
• Cinergy Electric – This electric utility was merged into Duke Energy in 2006, ceasing independent operations at that time.
• Hartland Asset Management – This investment firm is heavily involved in union pension funds and, through an affiliate, “developing solar power systems for IBEW union locals, union members, and union contractors.”
• Trillium Asset Management – This is another union pension fund management firm, part of an industry that would see huge profits if millions of Americans were forced into union contracts without the right to a private vote.
• Marco Consulting Group – This firm provides financial consulting to unions and union pension funds. Their listed clients are exclusively union organizations.
• Ortiz Enterprises, LLC – Diana Ortiz is listed as one of four members of the BLFE national advisory board. Ortiz Enterprises comprises a tax and accounting service, a catering company, and a restaurant named Chicken ‘n Pasta, all of which share a 1500 square foot storefront in Pueblo, Colorado.
• Rocky Mountain Animal Defense – This coalition member is a 501(c)3 animal rights non-profit in Colorado.
• As You Sow Foundation – Another non-profit foundation.
• Mother Earth Reverence Farms – Non-profit organization in Greeley, Colorado.
• Van Buren Goju Karate-Do – This Arkansas-based martial arts studio is listed as a coalition member. Earlier this year, business owner George Seahorn spoke at an AFL-CIO event, saying that he was planning on “expanding my business, actually having some employees, and making it more of a full-time operation.”
• D. E. Todd Inc. – According to public information from Dun and Bradstreet, D.E. Todd Inc. is a fruit and vegetable wholesaler with two employees and an estimated $85,000 in annual revenue.
• If Jesus Can’t Fix It Neither Can We – Auto repair shop in Evansville, Indiana.
• Pecaut Consulting LLC – Consulting firm for non-profits, based out of a private home in Denver, Colorado.
• Doug’s Dog Training – Location unknown.
• Ray’s Hair Salon – Location unknown.
You should completely reject the notion that this coalition speaks for the business community in any way. The fact is, EFCA will hurt businesses, cost thousands of jobs, and take away employees’ right to a private vote in union organizing elections.
Center for Union Facts