More than 300 activists from 15 states are on Capitol Hill today to tell their elected leaders that workers need and deserve meaningful labor law reform. The diverse group of small business owners, veterans, farmers, students, faith leaders, civil rights activists, women’s advocates, and environmentalists are uniting in one voice to remind lawmakers why the Employee Free Choice Act is vital to rebuilding our economy.
This morning, the state delegations heard from Senator Tom Harkin, new Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, who told his personal stories of family members fighting for union rights. He confirmed his commitment to passing the Employee Free Choice Act, saying ” Can we pass the Employee Free Choice Act this year? Yes we can!”
The advocates also shared some reasons why they are here today, and why all progressives should support the Employee Free Choice Act, including:
- It will make it easier for workers to form unions.
- Unions help combat poverty, improve the economy, and build a middle class that values family, opportunity, dignity, and fairness.
- We can best grow a new, clean energy economy with high-road jobs and a skilled, union workforce.
- Our faiths teach us that workers have a fundamental right to make their own decisions about bargaining with their employers, and to have jobs with dignity, safe working conditions, and a living wage.
- Unions improve the lives of working people regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, and union membership lifts wages significantly for women and people of color.
- Unions help workers meet the dual demands of work and family by increasing access to family-friendly benefits like health care, child care, and paid sick days, and supporting laws providing pay equity and family and medical leave.
- The freedom to form unions is a human right that all of us have an obligation to uphold and defend.
- Respecting rights in the workplace leads to civic participation at home and thus better public policies that serve the needs of the entire community.
- Unions help working people pass laws that protect everyone, like laws governing safety in the workplace, increasing the minimum wage, creating fair labor standards, and establishing equal rights.