Posts Tagged ‘EFCA’

Employee Free Choice Act Coalition Lobby Day

What do 300 farmers, ranchers, small business owners, veterans, students, faith leaders, civil rights leaders, women’s advocates, environmentalists and others have in common? They all support the Employee Free Choice Act and are flying in from 15 states on September 10 to deliver that message to their Senators and Representatives. Like us, they all want the economy to work for everyone — and that will only happen when workers can freely choose to join a union without fear of intimidation or harassment.

State delegations are organizing send-off events in their home towns and the fly-in lobby day will be accompanied by a call-in day from those unable to make it to Washington, DC. Everyone is invited to attend the kick-off event the morning of September 10; details to follow!

For more information, email Manny Herrmann, Online Strategies Director.

 

Unions, Business, and Economic Growth

In the heat of the summer months, American Rights at Work and our allies are keeping the Employee Free Choice Act in the minds of members of Congress.  We’ve produced two new fact sheets on the ways unions help build healthy economies and a skilled workforce:

Unions and Other Community Groups Benefit Local Economic Development

  • Unions are partnering with businesses in their communities to prevent job losses and preserve manufacturing jobs in this tough economy.
  • Investing in worker pension funds, unions are financing private ventures to enhance Gulf Coast revitalization and rebuild area communities.

Unions on the Cutting Edge: A Workforce Trained for the 21st Century

  • Working with hospitals, unions are training healthcare workers so patients receive the best care possible.
  • Apprenticeship programs provided by unions are enhancing the skills of workers in the construction and building trades, increasing the pool of qualified employees for this important sector of the U.S. economy.

Without a doubt, unions are helping workers weather the current economic storm. The Employee Free Choice Act will make it possible for more workers to join together for a voice in the workplace, paving the path for long-term, sustainable economic growth.

 

Mourning the Loss of a Champion for Working Families

“We have all been touched by Senator Edward Kennedy and his leadership on behalf of working families for over 47 years. He doggedly fought to improve health care, raise the minimum wage, and protect workers’ rights, most recently through his sponsorship of the Employee Free Choice Act. I will remember him personally as a wonderful, caring colleague. His willingness to think beyond himself, and champion issues of social and economic justice, will be remembered by all.”

David Bonior, Chair, American Rights at Work

 

What Coercion? An Illustration of Fairness in Majority Sign-Up

Despite over-the-top-rhetoric from opponents of workers’ rights, majority sign-up is a fair, democratic process for workers to form unions.  Research has shown that coercion or pressure is much rarer in majority sign-up campaigns than in NLRB elections.

One recent study, Majority Authorizations and Union Organizing in the Public Sector: A Four-State Perspective (PDF) showed that in a survey of more than 1,000 majority sign-up campaigns, there were no valid cases of coercion or fraud.  This week, the Economic Policy Institute made a great visual out of these data: check it out.

More on majority sign-up:

» Why Workers Want Majority Sign-up
» Secret Ballots Aren’t Enough
» Half a Million and Counting
» Fact Over Fiction: Opposition to Card Check Doesn’t Add Up

 

Building a Netroots Nation for the Employee Free Choice Act

Last week’s Netroots Nation conference of progressive bloggers, activists, and organizers helped build the movement for the Employee Free Choice Act. Bloggers and activists who support workers strategized about labor law reform, met union members and staffers at the Labor Caucus, heard from labor leaders like SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka, and even tasted union-made beer.

Significantly, Senator Arlen Specter announced to the conference that he would support cloture on the Employee Free Choice Act. His announcement was a positive sign that leaders are heeding the call of working families who want to see real labor law reform this year.

 

Al Franken’s Big American Rights at Work Welcome

On his first day as a U.S. Senator, Al Franken was already standing up for workers. Just hours after being sworn in, he signed on as a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act.

Here at American Rights at Work, we thought that deserved special recognition. So the next morning, we launched an online welcome card. Within 24 hours, more than 10,000 people had signed the card. And in the coming days, that number grew to 19,497 signatures, with thousands of people taking the time to write Senator Franken a personal welcome message.

Last week, our Acting Executive Director, Kimberly Freeman, delivered all the signatures and comments to Senator Franken personally. He’s pictured here balancing binders full of welcome notes from people who are thrilled to have him in Washington standing up for working families.

 

Experts and Advocates Agree: The Employee Free Choice Act Is Crucial to Economic Recovery

Recently published opinion pieces from a wide variety of voices—including economics professors, a leading advocate for working women, an Arkansas state representative, and a well-known political expert—have made a strong case for the Employee Free Choice Act as critical to economic recovery.

  • A piece in the Denver Post by Linda Meric, executive director of 9to5, the National Association of Working Women, called the Employee Free Choice Act an important way to address the gender-based pay gap and provide economic security for low-wage women and their families. Read more.
  • Political strategist Paul Begala argued in Politico that the Employee Free Choice Act will help the economy work for everyone again.  Highlighting the contrast between real workers who were fired for union activity and CEOs making millions while companies go under, Begala took on the corporate interests trying to protect the status quo. Read more.
  • Maine economics professors Michael Hillard and David Vail urged Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to support the Employee Free Choice Act as “an excellent opportunity to correct a failure of human rights while rebuilding a solid foundation for shared economic prosperity.” Read more.
  • Arkansas State Representative Richard Carroll supported the Employee Free Choice Act in the North Little Rock Times:  “As a member of the state Legislature, I have seen first-hand the devastating effects of poverty-level wages on my constituents and the community at large. Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act would ensure that workers have the livable wages guaranteed by a union contract.” Read more.
 

Ally Support Continues to Grow

New statements from religious leaders and women’s organizations add to the voices calling for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act:

  • Last week, the Episcopal Church joined the growing chorus of faith leaders who support the Employee Free Choice Act. They passed a resolution, “Fix Our Broken Labor Laws,” asking Congress and the president to restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain for better wages and benefits.
  • A dozen of the nation’s leading women’s organizations sent a letter to every member of Congress this week, calling on them to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. Organized by the National Partnership for Women and Families, the groups believe the bill will help provide women with the health benefits, retirement plans, and family-friendly policies that come with a union contract.

These are just a few of the groups supporting this key legislation: read more about the growing number of organizations inside and out of the labor movement care about workers’ rights and the Employee Free Choice Act.

The chorus of voices supporting the Employee Free Choice Act makes us confident that, despite speculation, significant labor law reform that remains true to the principles of the Employee Free Choice Act will pass this year. Workers must have a fair path to choose to form a union, penalties must be enacted for employers who violate the law, and we must prevent companies from using endless delays and stall tactics to deny workers a collective bargaining agreement. It’s the right thing to do.

 

Unions Have a Positive Impact on Family-Friendly Workplace Policies

Unions could improve workplace policies for millions of working families if Employee Free Choice Act becomes law

A new report from the UC Berkeley Labor Center and the Labor Project for Working Families shows how unions make workplaces more family-friendly:

  • Workers in unions are more likely to have heard of the Family and Medical Leave Act, have fewer worries about taking leave, and are more likely to receive fully paid and partially paid leaves.
  • Among hourly workers, 46 percent of union members receive full pay while on family and medical leave, compared to 29 percent of non-union workers.
  • Workers in unions are 1.3 times as likely as non-union workers to be allowed to use their own sick time to care for a sick child, and are 50 percent more likely to have paid personal leave that can be used to care for sick children.

As the report’s co-author, Netsy Firestein, said, “As Congress prepares to debate the Employee Free Choice Act in coming months, policymakers should understand that unions have helped improve workplace policies for thousands of working families and could do the same things for millions of families if EFCA becomes the law of the land.”

» Press release
» Executive summary
» Full report

 

Sen. Al Franken’s First Official Act

“As of about half an hour ago, I became the co-sponsor of my first piece of legislation in the Senate. And it’s something called the Employee Free Choice Act.”

That’s what Al Franken said just hours after being sworn in as a U.S. Senator from Minnesota! To thank him for his support, we’re putting together a huge welcome card.

Senator Franken has already taken a strong stand for workers. But he’s up against some serious opposition, so he needs our support and encouragement. As our economy continues to slide, an army of Big Business lobbyists continues to fight relentlessly against workers having a fair shake. Take a moment to welcome Senator Franken — thank him for being a leader on this issue and remind him how important it is that he keep fighting.

» Add your name to our welcome card for Senator Al Franken!