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May 24: Briefing the Senate

On Monday, May 21, 2007, we hosted a Senate briefing, "A Solution to the Middle Class Squeeze: The Employee Free Choice Act," to a packed Capitol Hill audience.  American Rights at Work brought the voices of workers and experts to the Hill to share why the right to organize is essential to preserving and growing America’s middle class and why a growing number of organizations outside of the labor movement support workers' rights and the Employee Free Choice Act (S. 1041). 

At the briefing:

  • Our Executive Director Mary Beth Maxwell summarized the obstacles facing workers who try to form union and said that, “it is time we stopped locking workers into a broken legal system that fails them again and again and again.”
  • American Rights at Work Board Member and President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Wade Henderson, shared how “the right to organize… is invigorating the civil rights community.”   He explained why the Employee Free Choice Act is one of his coalition’s top priorities, and why so many advocates see this legislation as critical to rebuilding America’s middle class: “We need protections [like this] that advance our collective well being.”  
  • Daniel Luevano, of Keenesburg, CO, shared his personal experience of trying to form a union without the support of the Employee Free Choice Act.   Daniel worked as an electrician for 10 years with Ries Electric, but was illegally fired after trying to form a union at his company.   Although he was eventually reinstated, the tactics used by his employer effectively scared employees from voting for the union.  With the Employee Free Choice Act, “we would have won representation and (the boss) would have been forced to bargain with us right off the bat without all the intimidation,” said Luevano.