Thursday, April 1, 2010


A new group of undisclosed small businesses has formed a coalition to oppose federal card check legislation among Arkansas’ candidate hopefuls.

The Coalition for Arkansas Jobs (CAJ) says its mission is “to protect jobs in Arkansas and stand up for the small businesses and workers in the state who grow the economy and create employment opportunities.” The group has the support of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Robert Coon, state director for CAJ, conducted an online interview with Talk Business, to discuss the group’s Arkansas focus which includes a candidate questionnaire for federal office-seekers.

Talk Business: Can you tell me who some of the member businesses of your coalition are?

Robert Coon: CAJ represents small businesses and workers throughout the state of Arkansas. We have recruited and mobilized small business owners throughout the state to voice their opposition to this job-killing legislation. We do not disclose our individual members and there is a reason for that. As you are aware, national labor unions are spending $4 million in Arkansas to promote their agenda this election cycle. The last thing small businesses need is Big Labor’s multi-million dollar attack machine turned on them.

TB: There has been talk from Washington that elements of EFCA are being discussed in some sort of compromise fashion. EFCA in its present form would not be pursued. Is your coalition engaged in those talks and do you see some common ground on the issue of union organization reform?

Coon: The whole idea of “compromise” on this issue is very misleading. EFCA has been introduced in 4 straight Congresses, virtually unchanged each time. Furthermore, national labor bosses continue to push for the passage of the bill in its current form. If Big Labor really wants to pursue meaningful reforms, the first step is to take EFCA, and it’s unfair provisions like card check and binding arbitration, off the table permanently.

TB: You are enlisting candidates for federal office to complete a questionnaire on EFCA. What will be the reward and punishment to those who support or oppose your group's positions?

Coon: Our mission is to educate voters on where candidates stand on this issue. We will not advocate for the election or defeat of any candidate. This is strictly an issue focused, educational organization. We strongly believe that voters have the right to know where their candidates stand on EFCA, and feel that this information will be an important factor in determining whom voters choose to support.