Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Passing The Employee Free Choice Act

The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is proposed United States legislation which aims to "amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes." If it becomes law, the Act would require the U.S. National Labor Relations Board to certify a union as the exclusive representative of employees without an election where "a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations." In addition, the Act would require parties who cannot agree upon the terms of a first collective bargaining contract within 120 days to submit the issues to an arbitration board, which would be empowered to settle the dispute. Finally, the Act would provide for liquidated damages of two times back pay for certain unfair labor practices.

This bill will be voted on by the Senate in the next few days. It is imperative that this passes. The middle and working classes need this legislation to ensure decent wages at a time when real wages are declining. The President will most certainly veto this bill because it is not supported by big business.

The decline in labor unions since the early 1980's and the subsequent decline of the middle class can not be ignored. As more and more worker protections are dissolved and companies unfriendly to labor such as Wal-Mart thrive, the environment for labor will only decline further. This law would put labor back on an equal footing and provide a real chance at regaining the middle class which is the backbone of the United States.

A Presidential Veto should show all middle and working class Americans that the Republican party is the party of big business and will stop at nothing to ensure that wages stay depressed.

Passage of this Act and an overide of the Presidential Veto would help blunt the passage of any guest worker program that will surely depress wages even further.

Call your Senator and express your support for this bill.

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