portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting global

labor

Workers Understand Democracy, Say Pass Employee Free Choice Act NOW!

Almost eight in 10 Americans support legislation that would make it easier for workers to join or organize labor unions, according to a new national survey from Peter D. Hart and Associates released this week.
The opinion poll was designed to gather public views on the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill in Congress that would impose tough sanctions against employers who harass or fire workers who try to join unions, reduce federal red tape on certifying unions, and give workers the choice about whether they want to vote on their union by card check or by secret ballot.

www.EMPLOYEEFREECHOICEACTNOW.ORG

About seven in 10 Americans, the survey found, believe that it is important to have strong laws to protect workers who seek to join unions.


Almost three-quarters cited the Employee Free Choice Act as an excellent means to protect workers. While the survey showed that support for the Employee Free Choice Act was strongest in the Northeastern US, among those surveyed in the South and in so-called right-to-work states with tough laws that limit the ability of workers to join unions, support for the Employee Choice Act stood at close to 70 percent.

Wealthy and powerful business lobbies oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. So much so that they have spent millions in an ad campaign spreading falsehoods about the bill.

One such lie is that the bill would eliminate a "secret ballot" process for workers to vote on wether to accept union representation.

The truth is, however, that the bill would give workers the choice between using the current lengthy federal process, with its costly bureaucratic appeals, administrative hearings, red tape and delays, or choose the process of majority signup. In the latter case, a union would be certified if a majority of the workers in a workplace signed a union membership card.

According to the House Committee on Education and Labor, which oversees the passage of the bill through Congress, the claim that "[t]he Employee Free Choice Act abolishes the National Labor Relations Board's 'secret ballot' election process" is a "myth." Specifically, the committee's web site notes, "The Employee Free Choice Act would make that choice - whether to use the NLRB election process or majority sign-up - a majority choice of the employees, not the employer."

The difference is that employers and supervisors and corporations would no longer dominate the drawn-out process of union certification and would face stiffer penalties for illegally threatening or firing pro-union workers. Today, weak enforcement under the Bush administration and weak labor laws allow such actions with near impunity.

The results of the new survey are clear. Americans understand what democracy in the workplace means, and they want Congress to grant them those protections.

For More Information on The Employee Free Choice Act Visit

www.EMPLOYEEFREECHOICEACTNOW.ORG