One of the most important labor reforms to emerge in years is The Employee Free Choice Act. The Employee Free Choice Act (H.B. 800) was recently passed in the House of Representatives by a comfortable margin. The action is now in the Senate where S. 1041 will soon be up for a vote. All Oregon progressives should get behind this bill, which will give workers more freedom to form unions, and negotiate a fair contract.
Following is what the AFL-CIO has to say about the bill on their website.
America’s working people are struggling to make ends meet these days and our middle class is disappearing. The best opportunity working people have to get ahead economically is by uniting to bargain with their employers for better wages and benefits. Recent research has shown that some 60 million U.S. workers would join a union if they could.
But the current system for forming unions and bargaining is broken. Every day, corporations deny workers the freedom to decide for themselves whether to form unions to bargain for a better life. They routinely intimidate, harass, coerce and even fire workers who try to form unions and bargain for economic well-being.
The Employee Free Choice Act H.R. 800, S. 1041, supported by a bipartisan coalition in Congress, would level the playing field for workers and employers and help rebuild America’s middle class. It would restore workers’ freedom to choose a union by:
- Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first-contract negotiations.
- Providing mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes.
- Allowing employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation.