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HARDI Brings Employee Rights Fight to Capitol Hill

March 12, 2007
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Heating, Airconditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) joined the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. It has become one of nearly 30 other national trade associations and multiple regional and state organizations to create a coalition against H.R. 800, also known as the “Employee Free Choice Act” or the “Card Check” bill. Amending the National Labor Relations Act, this bill would enable 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,” said Donald Frendberg, executive vice president and COO, HARDI.

“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.”

The coalition fears that if passed, H.R. 800 would strip American workers of their right to make decisions by secret ballot votes, creating an environment of possible signature coercion and harassment.

“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., Cincinnati.

This proposed legislation has been fast-tracked out of the House Education and Labor Committee and could possibly reach the House floor before the end of March. HARDI is promoting the coalition’s Website, which provides tools for grassroots opposition to the bill as well as testimonials, news, and background information on the issue. The association is encouraging HARDI member companies and others to contact their elected representatives and express their strong opposition to this bill.

For more information, visit www.hardinet.org or www.myprivateballot.com.

Publication date: 03/12/2007

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