National Call-in week for Employee Free Choice Act

Call Senator Gordon Smith and tell him to support the act.

Portland, Oregon

I just received this in an email from Michael Doyle, who blogs at Chicago Carless:

As the Senate vote on the Act draws near, I thought you might want to know that the AFL-CIO and union activists across the country have kicked off a grassroots NATIONAL CALL-IN WEEK for Americans to call their senators and tell them to vote ‘Yes’ on the Employee Free Choice Act. A single, toll-free number allows supporters to send a message directly to their local senators. That number is: 1-800-774-8941.

There’s more information about the Call-In Week on these two AFL pages here (blog.aflcio.org/2007/06/05/absolutely-essential-to-join-call-in-week-for-employee-free-choice-act) and here (blog.aflcio.org/2007/06/04/take-part-in-call-in-week-for-employee-free-choice-act).

Call Senator Gordon Smith and tell him to support the act.

Support the Employee Free Choice Act

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.

Portland, Oregon

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.

You can help by contacting Senator Gordon Smith, and urging him to support S. 1041. If you prefer a ready-made online petition, you can find it here: Petition to support S. 1041.

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.

The Employee Free Choice Act

Thoughts on Mayday 2007 – no borders

Portland, Oregon

Besides being International Workers’ Day, Mayday is also the 8th anniversary of my marriage to PattyJo. She didn’t get the day off, so I will be our sole representative at this afternoon’s big Mayday march here in Portland. This has been an annual event for us since our first one in 2001.

Over the years I have harbored mixed feelings about Portland’s celebration of this important holiday. We missed the tumultuous post-Seattle-WTO Mayday clashes around Powell’s unionization drive, but Mayday 2001 and 2002 were large and boisterous, and full of costumes and maypoles and dancing. They were truly joyous occasions.

In 2003 the labor union leftists decided to take charge and keep the day “on message”. Instead of costumes and maypoles, we were bored by long, tedious speeches without end. Needless to say, attendance began a steep decline.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The message is one which desparately needs to be aired. But why must our holidays be stripped of celebration to accomodate this? By insisting on a narrow agenda, the labor left alienated many potential supporters.

On the other hand, last years inclusion of immigrants and support for their cause, has revitalized the celebration. I have hopes that this years march will have the same kind of vitality.

Keep expanding the agenda. No Borders!

Mayday 2007
March and Rally for Workers and Immigrant Rights
South Park blocks at SW Salmon St.
• Rally at 4pm
• March at 5pm