Thursday, March 01, 2007

The House passes the Employee Free Choice Act

This is exceedingly good news. Amid the miring down of the Iraq debate, the house has moved decisively, giving workers some more power than they currently have. The Employe Free Choice Act would allow unions to be certified by a majority of workers signing union cards, and if they can't finish a contract within 3 months, one is decided by neutral arbitration.

It's a big win. It also stiffens penalties for companies who violate federal labor law when workers organize. A worker is fired every 23 minutes for exercising their rights to lawful union representation.

Of course, the opponents will raise the hoary trope of union thugs pressuring decent workers into signing cards they don't wish to sign, but as one of those union thugs, I can tell you, this is not how it works in the real world. In the real world, you have conversations with people about what their concerns are, and once you have a decent relationship with them, then you point to how collective bargaining can address those concerns. There's no smoke, no mirrors. It's just conversations, one after the other.

And despite what you may think, the organizer has no power over workers who don't want union representation. It doesn't happen.

In fact, federal researchers have been able to find 42 instances in the past 60 years where there have been documented cases of union intimidation during an organizing process. Which sounds bad until you compare to the 30,000 documented times the employer has harassed workers seeking to lawfully organize.

Watch the video below of George Miller (D-CA) making the case for the EFCA:

Look, the bottom line is that you cannot find a free country anywhere without a vibrant and free labor movement. Where you find tyranny, you find weakened, diminished worker rights. They all go hand in hand.

1 comment:

Brittania said...

Well said.