Small Business Issues in the Ballot Box: the Employee Free Choice Act

This election could end up changing labor laws to a great degree.

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Is more unionization a good thing or a bad thing? Goldstein says that there are numerous examples of businesses that have found unions to be beneficial. "

The worst-case scenario would be the arbitrator says you have to pay employees an amount that the employer can't afford and has to either lay off employees or close the business," he says.

Goldstein disagrees, saying "case studies studies show that arbitrators are very fair and that they don't deviate from the norm of what happens when it's voluntary."

No matter how much small-business owners decide that the Employee Free Choice Act would affect them, this election will most likely decide whether it will get passed. John McCain voted to filibuster the bill in 2007, while Barack Obama supported it. What could change things even more than the president is if the Democrats win nine of the 23 Republican Senate seats up for grabs in this year's election (and hold the 12 Democratic seats up for vote). Then they will have enough votes to overcome a filibuster. That's only if the vote is as strictly partisan as it was in 2007. But with an issue this divisive, it is likely to stay that way.

Corrected on 11/03/2008: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that all Senate Republicans filibustered the Employee Free Choice Act. Sen. Arlen Spector (R-PA) supported the bill.

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