Alliance to Save Main Street Jobs

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

The Alliance to Save Main Street Jobs has funded reports critical of the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation that would make it easier for U.S. workers to join a union.

One Alliance report, "An Empirical Assessment of the Employee Free Choice Act: The Economic Implications," was written by Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar from LECG Consulting.[1] "Job losses attributable to the passage of the employee free choice act in that respect would be equal to the entire population of the city of Boston," said Alliance legal counsel Phil Miscamarra. [2]

A media release announcing the report states that the Alliance to Save Main Street Jobs is "chaired by HR Policy Association and includes the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Real Estate Roundtable, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."[3]

The Alliance also funded a February 2009 report by "noted legal scholar Richard Epstein" and published by the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank at Stanford University. The report, titled "The Case Against The Employee Free Choice Act," is described in a press release as detailing "the countless risks to job creation, small businesses, and overall economic growth that would result from this misguided legislation." [4]

Critiques

On the Alliance's March 2009 report, the Institute for America's Future's Isaiah J. Poole wrote, "The report relies on conservative zero-sum logic. If you pay workers higher wages, as Layne-Farrar concedes will happen as unionization increases, employers will respond by displacing workers from the labor force. The author concludes this even though, on page 13 of her report, she also writes, 'the literature offers conflicting results with respect to the impact of union density on inflation, employment and unemployment.'" [5]

"Larry Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, says the study amounts to 'crackpot economics.' Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research, says that -- if the study were true -- Canada, where the unionization rate is 20 percentage points higher than in the U.S., would have a higher unemployment rate. Yet Canada’s unemployment rate is lower," according to an editorial by officers of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union. [6]

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References

  1. By: Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar, LECG Consulting, "An Empirical Assessment of the Employee Free Choice Act: The Economic Implications: Key Facts, Findings & Quotes", undated but released March 2009.
  2. Kevin Mooney, op/ed: "Study predicts millions of lost jobs under Card Check," Washington Examiner (Washington, DC), March 6, 2009.
  3. 'Employee Free Choice Act Will Cost US Economy 600,000 Jobs in 2010", Media Release, March 5, 2009.
  4. Press release, "Renowned Legal Scholar Releases Study Making Detailed Case Against The Employee Free Choice Act," Alliance to Save Main Street Jobs via American Hotel and Lodging Association, February 3, 2009.
  5. Isaiah J. Poole, "Scare Tactic Recycled: Unionizing Kills Jobs," Institute for America's Future's "Blog for Our Future," March 6, 2009.
  6. Edwin D. Hill and Lindell K. Lee, "Fight Fear with Facts," The Electrical Worker, April 2009.
  7. Kevin Mooney, "Study predicts millions of lost jobs under Card Check", DC Examiner, March 6, 2009.

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