Fighting for Employee Free Choice
by Texas Nate, Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 09:02:43 AM EDT
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been the hatchet man for the corporate business lobby in their epic campaign of doublespeak against the Employee Free Choice act.
Zach Carter of the Media Consortium outlines the stakes in a Huffington Post piece:
Our labor laws desperately need to be revamped. Currently, Capitol Hill's biggest battle for workers rights is the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would make it easier for workers to form a union without fear of employer reprisals or intimidation. The corporate executive class is lobbying hard against EFCA by claiming it revokes workers' rights to a secret ballot in union elections, but the bill would do no such thing. As the law currently stands, employers can force workers who want to unionize to hold an election in order to actually establish a union. EFCA would require that a union be legally recognized as soon as a majority of workers sign cards saying they want to unionize. Union leaders are still elected by a secret ballot, but the election is permitted to take place later on, preventing employers from using the election period to bully their workers out of unionizing at all.
A worker's consortium called Jobs With Justice is leading the fight on the ground.
They're launching a series of actions across the country to call attention to the Chamber's $20million disinformation campaign against the act.
There's an action in Philadelphia today. Full details in the extended entry.
From a JWJ release:
WHAT: Protest the Chamber of Commerce's Campaign of Lies Against the Employee Free Choice Act
WHEN: Wed., June 3, 2009 at 5 pm SHARP!
WHERE: The Bellevue Hotel, 200 S. Broad St.
Mark Schweiker and the Chamber of Commerce are actively fighting the Employee Free Choice Act. It's one thing to have a difference of opinion about how people should form a union, but lying about what the Employee Free Choice Act will do is another.
Mark Schwieker and his friends at the Chamber of Commerce like David L Cohen (known for leading anti-union activity for years at Comcast Corp.) are campaigning against the Employee Free Choice Act in such a dishonest way that it must be hard for them to keep a straight face at times. Here is a sample of what they have been saying:
"By taking away the workers' freedom to choose...would compromise the very foundation of our democracy." Mark Schwieker
Mr. Schweiker is highly-educated and well-informed and KNOWs that this claim is overblown and untrue. Mr. Schweiker and the Chamber of Commerce knows that the Employee Free Choice Act would:
* Guaranteeing that if a majority of workers wants a union, they can have one, allowing them to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation;
* Providing mediation and arbitration for first contract disputes; and
* Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first contract negotiations.
Mr. Schweiker and the Chamber of Commerce through their front group, "Alliance for Worker Freedom," are currently pushing an anti-Employee Free Choice Act resolution through our state legislature. The Chamber of Commerce is also lobbying Sen. Arlen Specter to oppose allowing the bill to be debated in the Senate.
The Chamber of Commerce has a campaign of lies that it tells to its members about this bill. We want business leaders in our city to know the truth. The Employee Free Choice Act will improve the lives of thousands of workers across our city. The Employee Free Choice Act is an economic stimulus package for workers and businesses!
On June 3 at 5 pm, please join us to inform new members of the Chamber of Commerce (the Young Professionals Network and new member meeting) that they are about to be spoon fed some lies about this important law.
Members of the Philadelphia Security Officers Union, Thomas Robinson and Cecelia Lynch will be there educating these new business leaders about how if the Employee Free Choice Act were passed today, the guards at the Museum of Art, who have signed up a majority of their co-workers, would be a union.
Please come out and support the PSOU and the Employee Free Choice Act!!!