Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Right To Unionize Workers

Some 57 million workers in America say they would join a union
tomorrow if they could. Today, a bill was reintroduced in both
houses of Congress that would level the playing field for
workers trying to form unions. It's the bipartisan Employee Free
Choice Act and it could make a world of difference for working
people trying to gain a voice on the job. A link to urge your members of
Congress to support it is here:


The bill is being introduced into the 109th Congress by Sens.
Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Reps.
George Miller (D-Calif.) and Pete King (R-N.Y.).

The Employee Free Choice Act says when a majority of employees
in a workplace decide to form a union, they can do so without
the bitter war employers now wage to block them. Every 23
minutes a worker is fired or discriminated against for
exercising the basic freedom to decide whether to form a union.
On paper, U.S. labor law and international standards give
workers the legal right to form unions--but in the real world,
employers block that right day after day. So 57 million workers
who want the benefits of union membership can't get them.

The Employee Free Choice Act is an approach to
restoring workers' freedom to form unions. It would require
employers to recognize the union once a majority of workers
signed cards authorizing union representation. It also would
provide for mediation and arbitration of first-contract disputes
and authorize stronger penalties for employers that violate the
legal rights of workers seeking to form unions and negotiate
first contracts.

By the time Congress adjourned last year, 38 senators and 210
U.S. representatives had signed on as co-sponsors of the
Employee Free Choice Act.

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