We Need the Employee Free Choice Act
Thanks in large part to the efforts of union volunteers around
the country, working families won a strong victory on Nov. 4, sending
Obama to the White House and electing a stronger pro-worker
majority of senators and representatives.
However, winning an election isn't the end of the fight. Now, our
elected leaders need to tackle the worst economic crisis since the
Great Depression. They have to keep their promises to the people
who voted for them-and we have to give them the support they need
to make the tough choices. We need an economic recovery package
that will turn around this broken economy for working families with
good jobs, green jobs, re-regulation of our financial system and
health care that works for all of us. But no matter what else we
do, it won't result in real shared prosperity unless we restore
workers' freedom to form unions so they can bargain for a better
life with better wages and benefits. That's what this proposed legislation,
the Employee Free Choice Act, will do. The
Employee Free Choice Act will:
· Put real teeth in the laws that are supposed to bar companies
from intimidating, harassing-even firing-workers who want to form
· Allow workers to form their union when a majority signs
cards indicating that's what they desire.
· Require arbitration to end corporate foot-dragging when
workers try to get a first contract.
Free Choice Act will level the playing field that today
leaves all the power in the hands of corporations, not workers.
And Big Business and the front
groups set up by corporations are preparing an all-out, $200
million propaganda and lobbying war to block it.
Unions have made passage of the Employee Free Choice Act a top
priority for this year because it is the key to good wages, benefits,
a voice in the workplace and the amplified political voice unions
bring workers. In 2007, the U.S. House passed the measure and it
had majority support in the Senate, but a
minority killed it with a filibuster, emboldened by President
George W. Bush's promise to veto the legislation. Now we have elected
a new Congress that has promised to be beside us in this fight and
a president who has promised to sign the Employee Free Choice Act.
Here are the facts on why we need the Employee Free Choice Act:
are struggling. For too long, workers haven't had the power
to get their fair share of the
value they create. Workers are finding it harder and harder
to stay in our homes, pay for our health care and save for our retirement.
And our economy is suffering as a result.
Unions make people's lives better. The freedom to form unions and
bargain for a better life is a basic human right, and it makes a
difference: Union members make 30 percent more than workers who
don't have unions. They're 59 percent more likely to have health
benefits and four times more likely to have pensions. That's real
economic security. Communities with strong unions have higher standards
of living for everyone.
the system is broken. More than 60 million workers who don't
have a union would join one if they could. But under existing law,
corporations essentially have a veto over the process. In our company-dominated
system, workers can be intimidated, coerced and even fired by their
bosses for trying to form a union. A decision that should be in
the hands of workers is instead in the hands of corporate executives.
Why union members should support the Employee Free Choice Act.
The Employee Free Choice Act doesn't just matter for workers who
are trying to form unions. When more workers are in unions, workers
have greater strength in numbers to demand good wages and good benefits
across communities and industries. That raises the living and working
standards for all workers and helps us all bargain for better contracts
and counterbalance corporate power.
The Employee Free Choice Act means long-term shared prosperity.
The Employee Free Choice Act is essential to rebuilding the middle
class and ensuring the survival of the American Dream. We can build
an economy that works for everyone if workers can exercise the freedom
to form unions.
about what we are doing to win