Posts Tagged ‘Employee Free Choice Act’

The big secret behind secret ballot initiatives

Next Tuesday, voters in four states—Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah—will be facing anti-worker initiatives that would amend each state’s constitution to require so-called secret ballots in union elections. At first glance, these measures appear to be about worker protection. But underneath the friendly exterior, it’s clear the far-right organizations funding these measures are not looking out for workers’ best interests.

They’re making a preemptive strike against federal legislation that Congress has not even passed yet—the Employee Free Choice Act. Read more »


Xerox: Do you copy?

Last week, Forbes named Xerox CEO Ursula Burns one of the most powerful women in the world. But what the magazine failed to mention is that her company is doing everything it can to keep unions out of the workplace.

In addition to making photocopiers, Xerox also runs the call centers for E-ZPass, the automatic tollbooth system in New York state. And when E-ZPass workers in Staten Island, NY voted to join the Communications Workers of America, Xerox retaliated by telling 19 employees that they had to transfer or leave the company. Read more »


Exposing the anti-union network

The 2010 midterm elections are right around the corner, and the assault on workers and their unions has never been louder—or better funded. The anti-union network is pumping unprecedented funds into races around the country to oppose pro-worker candidates and policies. These are the same big money extremists that fought hard against the Employee Free Choice Act, raising the minimum wage, and even equal pay for women.

It’s time to stop them—and their undisclosed donors—before they do any more damage. So we’ve put together a report that provides background info on the most nefarious of these groups: American Crossroads, Americans for Job Security, Americans for Prosperity, The Club for Growth, Freedom Works, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Read more »


Going Beyond Undercover Boss

With the economic recovery and job growth stagnating despite record profits on Wall Street, CEOs in this country could use a wake-up call. But instead of a wake up call, the second season of CBS’ “Undercover Boss” is more like a thiny-veiled public relations campaign for featured companies.

Choice Hotels CEO Steve Joyce, who has publicly opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, was the focus of last night’s premiere episode. Joyce got a first hand look at how his hotels operate from the perspective of Choice employees, and was surprised at just how demanding work in the hotel industry can be—both physically and mentally. And as Joyce quickly realized, these workers aren’t just numbers on a payroll statement. They are real people, with individual struggles, families, and career aspirations of their own. Read more »


Workers’ rights: A year-round classic

There are few things that can bring Americans from all walks of life together. Today, as baseball fans across the country gear up for the 81st All-Star Game, it’s clear that baseball is one of them.  And, despite lining their roster with some of baseball’s biggest names, it’s been over a decade since the National League won the Midsummer Classic.

The players who will take the field in Anaheim tonight are outstanding athletes—household names and heroes to fans worldwide. But many big-league players aren’t just champions in the baseball world. Off the field, they’re also champions of workers’ rights.

In fact, four of the players selected for tonight’s game—Heath Bell, Torii Hunter, Justin Verlander, and Adam Wainwright—have recently come out swinging for labor law reform. Read more »


The status quo is insane

In case anyone is wondering if labor law reform is really needed, the case of Blackstone Hotel in Chicago provides an answer. Workers there formed a union in 2008, but have since faced an onslaught of federal law violations by the hotel. And now, after a year and a half of negotiation, they still don’t have a contract.

Last week, an NLRB administrative law judge ruled that the hotel illegally tried to get employees to decertify the union, and laid off workers and changed employee health plans without involving the union. As Crain’s Chicago Business reports:

Alexis Canalos, a researcher for Local 1, estimates Blackstone workers are owed at least $250,000 in back wages and health premiums.

I’m glad the NLRB is holding the hotel accountable. But despite this victory, the workers are still waiting for a contract. Read more »


Can they do that?

Can your boss fire you for what you write about in your personal blog? Can you be pink-slipped over a bumper sticker? Can your employer dismiss you for having a beer after work?

Yes. Yes. And, horrifyingly, yes.

Few Americans are truly aware of what happens to their legal rights once they punch the clock. That’s why Lewis Maltby, president and founder of the National Workrights Institute, wrote Can They Do That: Retaking Our Fundamental Rights in the Workplace.

Read more »


Video: What really goes on in union organizing campaigns

Cross-posted from

Were you ever bullied at school? Ever get your lunch money stolen? I bet you thought that behavior would stop once you grew up.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case when you’re a worker trying to form a union. Here’s a statistic that’ll get your blood boiling: 78 percent of workers are forced to attend closed-door meetings with management during union organizing drives. And how much can employers be fined by the National Labor Relations Board for illegally threatening, intimidating, or firing their workers? A whopping zero dollars and zero cents.

Watch this video from the IBEW (featuring actors from the acclaimed HBO series The Wire), showing exactly how such a closed-door meeting might go:

Read more »


Is your boss going undercover?

In light of the new CBS show, “Undercover Boss,” American Rights at Work is launching a new grassroots campaign and website, to expose what really goes on in America’s workplaces, and to call on Congress to fix our jobs through meaningful labor law reform.

» Check out our new campaign
» Watch the video & sign the petition
» Press Release