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|House Passes Employee Free Choice Act in Spite of Hostile Campaign Resembling Unionbusting|
WASHINGTON, DC—Last ditch efforts by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the final days before yesterday's vote on the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800) failed to stop the U.S. House of Representatives from passing the labor law reform legislation. Some 241 members, including 13 Republicans, supported the bill. "Hard-line business groups were tripping over each other and sparing no expense to bully lawmakers, misinform the public, and oppose free choice for workers," says American Rights at Work Executive Director Mary Beth Maxwell.
In a relentless effort to defeat the bill, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce purchased radio ads in 51 districts to target lawmakers. In an article earlier this week about the expensive ad buy, Congress Daily quoted a U.S. Chamber spokesperson who said, "We're making people feel pain."
In the weeks preceding the House floor vote, a well-financed and coordinated message machine that included industry associations and right-wing think tanks flooded the public debate with misinformation about the bill’s provisions. Conservative pundit George Will was a late recruit to help obscure the existence of employer coercion during union organizing campaigns.
"House members got a taste of the relentless attacks workers endure every day when they stand up for themselves and support unions," says Maxwell. "Can you imagine how a nurse with kids to feed feels when faced with this kind of intimidation? This is exactly why workers need the Employee Free Choice Act."
Concludes Maxwell, "Hardworking men and women can celebrate today because Congress stood up for them and American democracy."
American Rights at Work (http://www.americanrightsatwork.org) is a leading labor policy and advocacy organization. For more information on how opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act are misinforming the public, visit: http://www.antiunionnetwork.org.
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American Rights at Work is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the freedom of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively with employers.