Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which was introduced March 10 in both houses of Congress, would be an important step in protecting workers who want to form a union without interference from employers who often ruthlessly beat back those efforts to unionize, AFT president Randi Weingarten says.
"America's economic well-being is directly tied to that of its workforce," Weingarten says. "Strong unions, like investments in crucial programs and increased access to healthcare, are central to the future of the country. Unions allow workers to share in the prosperity they help create, expanding the middle class and strengthening America."
Following the introduction of the act, the AFT is urging members to call or write to their senators and representatives to support the legislation's swift passage. The AFT appreciates the leadership of Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on EFCA, Weingarten notes.
She also warned about "the fierce and dishonest campaign to derail EFCA [that] has been spearheaded by business interests determined to keep the balance of power tilted in their favor. They have misled the public into thinking that EFCA would deny workers the option of a secret-ballot union election. The truth is that, under the legislation, workers could decide to have either a secret-ballot election or a 'card check,' in which a union is formed with a majority of workers' signatures. EFCA will level the playing field by reaffirming the principle that every employee must have a free choice to join a union and bargain for better wages, healthcare and pension benefits, and for more of a say in the workplace."
March 10, 2009