by Seth Michaels / AFL-CIO Now Blog / Mar 13, 2009
The Employee Free Choice Act was introduced in Congress this week, but the action wasn’t all in Washington. Around the country, grassroots efforts are growing to pass this critical bill to restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain.
Hundreds of phone calls and handwritten letters have gone to U.S. senators this week, urging them to support the Employee Free Choice Act.
Union members and community allies in Alaska, Virginia, Arkansas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nebraska and other states held “working lunches” and meetings to contact their members of Congress about the need to quickly pass the bill. The outreach included phone banking and leafleting as well. This national week of action has included the participation of hundreds of union members from across the movement.
Union members aren’t the only ones supporting the Employee Free Choice Act. This week in Wisconsin, Milwaukee-area business owners got together to talk about why they support the Employee Free Choice Act. Meeting at a job training center, these business leaders agreed that a revitalized middle class, and more purchasing power for workers, will be essential to economic recovery. The small businessmen and women also talked about the importance of unions to ensure a motivated, highly trained and skilled workforce, and helped cut through some of the false spin about the legislation.
In Virginia, Jobs with Justice took part in efforts to contact senators asking them to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. And in Denver, Interfaith Worker Justice and Jobs with Justice partnered on a community meeting in support of workers’ freedom to form unions.
Local elected officials are getting mobilized, too. This week in North Carolina, state Reps. Ty Harrell and Paul Luebke announced their strong support of the Employee Free Choice Act and talked about what it would bring to North Carolina workers.
The momentum for the Employee Free Choice Act is strong, even as corporate front groups spread disinformation and try to pressure Congress into blocking this vital change to the law. Union members and their allies across the country are fighting big money with people power and working to protect workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain.
The Employee Free Choice Act:
Questions and Answers
Why do we need new federal legislation, the Employee Free Choice Act?
America’s working people are struggling to make ends meet, CEOs have all the power and our middle class is disappearing. The best opportunity for working men and women to get ahead is by uniting with co-workers to bargain with their employers for better wages and benefits.
But the current labor law system is broken. Corporations routinely intimidate, harass, coerce and fire people who try to organize unions-and today’s labor law is powerless to stop them. Every day, corporations deny working people the freedom to make their own choice about whether to have a union:
• Employees are fired in one-quarter of private-sector union organizing campaigns;
• 78 percent of companies require supervisors to deliver anti-union messages to the workers whose jobs and pay they control;
• And even after workers successfully form a union, 44 percent of the time they are not able to get a contract.
Stop the Banks from Spending our Tax Dollars to Lobby for Wal-Mart
March 13, 2009 — ilyka
Petition alert! Pretty much what it says above:
This week, Citigroup spent some of its $50 billion in bailout money to organize big corporations to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act – a bill that would make it easier for workers to form unions and bargain for better wages and benefits. According to the Huffington Post, Citigroup’s retail analyst Deborah Weinswig participated in a conference call for corporate interests working to kill the bill.