Congressman Phil Hare, a member of the House Education and Labor Committee and a former textile worker and union member, today released the following statement after Chairman George Miller introduced the Employee Free Choice Act.
"The Employee Free Choice Act is an economic stimulus package. Giving workers the opportunity to join a union freely and fairly will strengthen the middle class and grow our economy.
"The system for forming unions is badly broken and has been for many years. In 25 percent of all organizing drives, the boss unlawfully fires at least one worker for pro-union activity. Many harass their employees or hire union-busting consultants to spread propaganda and fear.
"The Employee Free Choice Act would give workers the option of forming a union through majority sign-up. This method of organizing, which involves workers signing cards of recognition, has been around since the 1930's. In the last 6 years alone, half a million workers have organized this way.
"Republican opponents of the bill and their big business contributors will tell you that the bill abolishes workers' rights to a secret ballot election. They are wrong. Under this legislation, workers can have an election if they choose to. Our legislation simply leaves that choice up to workers, not their bosses.
"In truth, opposition to this bill is really about businesses who are terrified that giving workers a greater say would mean less money in their own pockets. Whether it was deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, or the systematic weakening of our labor laws, big business had quite a party for the last 8 years. Now it's time to give workers some of their dignity back. For the good of our economy and the middle class, we should pass the Employee Free Choice Act."