The American workforce represents ever sector of our society. As a recipient of many of the benefits that labor fought to provide their membership, I can attest to their importance to many families including my own. I am pleased to serve the members of the labor community as we collectively seek to strengthen the American work force.
One of the first pieces of legislation that I was pleased to vote in support of was the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which increases the minimum wage from the current $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour over the next two years. This minimum wage boost for the lowest paid 13 million Americans was signed into law as part of an emergency supplemental appropriations bill. The passage of this bill is a critical first step toward strengthen working families nationwide.
Another piece of legislation that I voted in support of was the Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 (H.R. 800). This bill makes it more difficult for employers to thwart workers' efforts to form unions with the purpose of bargaining for better wages and benefits. The bipartisan bill strengthens penalties for employers that violate workers' freedom (harassment, intimidation, and illegal firings) to make their own choice about a union. It would allow a neutral party to determine a first contract if the company and employees cannot reach an agreement. The bill will also enable people to form unions when a majority of employees indicate, in writing; they do in fact want to unionize. This legislation passed the House by a vote of 241 to 185.
* Other bills I have co-sponsored: H.R. 980, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007 (extends to public safety officers [firefighters, law enforcement officers; or emergency medical services personnel] the right to bargain collectively with their employers)
* H.R. 3796, the Early Warning & Health Care for Workers Affected by Globalization Act (protects workers from the affects of globalization in their industries)
* H.R. 3685, Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007 (prevents workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation).
* H.R. 3185, the 401(k) Fair Disclosure for Retirement Security Act of 2007(ensures that workers are receiving all necessary information about their 401(k) plan to adequately plan for retirement)
* H.R.2768, Supplemental Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2007
* H.R. 2049, Protecting America's Workers Act (amends the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 by extending OSHA's coverage to federal, state and the local government employees)