Friday, June 15, 2007

Employee Free Choice Act Vote Next Wednesday

The Employee Free Choice Act is headed toward a Senate vote next week on Wednesday. The bill has already passed overwhelmingly in the House. Almost all of the New York House delegation voted for it - Tom Reynolds (R-NY 26) and John Kuhl (R-NY 29) were the only New York Reps in opposition - and New York's Senators support the bill. But whether the bill will pass the Senate is in doubt. Find out more about the opposition.

Why is this bill so important? Workers routinely face intimidation from employers when they try to form a union. In 25 percent of organizing campaigns, private-sector employers illegally fire workers because they want to form a union. Passing this law will restore American workers' freedom to join unions. And that will help workers improve their lives.

Don't think that's an issue? Listen to Greg Mendez's story.

Greg Mendez is an office systems coordinator at New York's Pace University. In 2004, Mendez and his co-workers sought to form a union with the New York State United Teachers/AFT. They wanted a transparent salary structure and grievance procedure in place of the university's arbitrary system of pay raises and promotions. In response, the university hired anti-worker consultants to run meetings several times a day. Union supporters who tried to speak up at these meetings were publicly attacked. "People got nervous, really nervous," says Mendez. "You would have thought we were trying to overthrow the government." Three years later, Pace University workers still are fighting the administration's campaign of intimidation.

And there are plenty more workers with stories just like Greg's.

In the end, it's all about workers making better lives for themselves and their families. Tell your U.S. Senator to pass the Employee Free Choice Act - and then, even more importanly, tell your friends in other states to take action. And when you've done that, take the poll.

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