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Labor Group Releases New Small Business Owner Survey As Chamber Small Business Summit Begins
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Kimberly Freeman Brown: "We are learning that small business owners across America support the rights of employees to organize unions"
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2010

CONTACT:
Doug Pennington
202-822-2127x118 This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

WASHINGTON, DC— The same day that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce begins its annual Small Business Summit, American Rights at Work released surprising results from its survey of 1,055 Americans who identify themselves as small business owners or self-employed individuals.

See the results published in "Surveying The Small Business Owner: The Value Of Unions In America" here.

"Small business leaders," said Kimberly Freeman Brown, Executive Director of American Rights at Work, "are showing us that there is a path to a 'win-win' economy in America. Employers and workers can both generate success and share in the rewards of their hard work together." Freeman Brown continued, "We are learning that small business owners across America support the rights of employees to organize unions, believing not only that it makes good business sense, but also that strong unions make the free market system stronger."

Among other results, American Rights at Work found:

  • 52% of small business owners surveyed were strongly "worried that unions have been weakened so much that our economy has actually been hurt."
  • 58% strongly agreed that "labor unions are necessary to protect the working person."
  • 69% said it was very important to their business that "Congress enact legislation that rewards responsible employers who respect their workers' right to join a union."
  • 72% strongly agreed that "a good business person can make a profit AND respect their workers' choice to form a union."
  • 82% strongly agreed that "it's morally wrong for employers to fire or threaten employees for wanting to form a union."

Furthermore, and contrary to Chamber of Commerce ideology:

  • 54% of self-identified small business owners and self-employed Americans surveyed strongly agreed that "strong unions make the free market system stronger," with over 80% of respondents in agreement overall.

Almost identical results were also found among self-described politically Independent small business owners, including:

  • 49% who strongly agreed that "strong unions make the free market system stronger," with over 75% of Independents in agreement overall.
  • 65% said it was very important to their business that "Congress enact legislation that rewards responsible employers who respect their workers' right to join a union."
  • 82% strongly agreed that "it's morally wrong for employers to fire or threaten employees for wanting to form a union."

As one politically Independent small retail business owner in Virginia said, "When workers form unions, they can secure benefits and rights in the workplace including a decent wage and health care. They have economic and job stability. Unions lift workers and workers lift the economy. It’s as simple as that."

And as another politically Independent small telecommunications business owner in Colorado said, "When companies compete on equal footing, consumers fare better. The free market system is driven by workers' productivity, and unions tend to produce more educated, well trained – and therefore productive – employees."

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Survey methodology:

These findings are reported from a Web-based survey that American Rights at Work conducted between March 25, 2010 and April 12, 2010. An invitation including a link to the survey was emailed to a list of 3,792 contacts who had responded to an American Rights at Work e-alert raising concerns about the policies of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. After two email reminders, a total of 1,213 respondents completed the survey. The results reported here focus on the 1,055 individuals who self-identified as being current small business owners or self-employed. Quotations of small business owners in this report come from answers to a questionnaire sent by e-mail to survey respondents who agreed to be contacted again.

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Resources:

"Surveying The Small Business Owner: The Value Of Unions In America" (PDF)

Small Business Owner Survey, American Rights at Work, March-April 2010 (PDF)

 
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American Rights at Work – http://www.americanrightsatwork.org – is the nation's leading labor policy and advocacy organization dedicated to educating the American public about the barriers that workers face when they attempt to exercise their rights to freely and fairly form unions and engage in collective bargaining.