Issue Position: Labor
Having grown up in a labor household, I know there is no question that union workers benefit from a collective voice. Americans have waged countless battles to improve conditions in the workplace and pave the way for a better life for all working families. Yet today they lack the adequate measures to address workplace inequities and to safeguard against unfair labor practices. The Employee Free Choice Act addresses that.
Under current law, employers can require unions to go through one-sided, time consuming elections as a condition of being certified as bargaining representatives. These elections become the center of employer efforts to frustrate the right of workers to organize. Employers also routinely intimidate, harass, coerce, reassign, or even fire workers who support a union. This bill will bring democracy and fairness to workers in bargaining with employers.
Under the Employee Free Choice Act, if a majority of workers in a workplace sign cards authorizing a union, they get a union. The legislation would also stiffen penalties against employers that break the law and it would provide for mediation and binding arbitration when parties are unable to agree on a first contract.
Responsible employers already voluntarily recognize a union when a majority of workers sign up for one. It is time that all workers have this free and fair choice in selecting their representative, so they have a fighting chance to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions.
Allowing workers to make their own decision - freely and fairly - about whether to form a union, will give more of America's workers the opportunity to bargain for better treatment on the job and improve their own standard of living.