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Employee Free Choice Act Facts

January 6, 2009

The Employee Free Choice Act was introduced in Congress on March 10 by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. George Miller (D-Cal.). American working people are one step closer to true economic security through a free, fair and democratic process for forming a union where they work. 

Click here to see President Obama's recent comments in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act and the need to pass it soon. 

Click here to keep track of what's going on with the fight to restore American workers' right to organize. 

Although 60 million U.S. workers say they would join a union right now if they could, they are prevented from doing so by the threatening and intimidating tactics of their employers.

Here are the facts, according to a study by Cornell University:

  • 92 percent of private-sector employers, when faced with an organizing effort, force employees to attend closed-door meetings to hear anti-union propaganda;
  • 75 percent hire outside consultants to run anti-union campaigns;
  • Half threaten to shut down partially or totally if employees form a union;
  • In 25 percent of union organizing campaigns, employers illegally fire workers.
  • Even after workers successfully form a union, in one out of three cases, employers do not negotiate a contract.

That’s not a level playing field, and it hasn’t been for years. That’s why American workers need the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). The single most important piece of labor legislation in more than 70 years, it is vitally needed to restore to American workers the right to form unions.

And that is precisely why so many employers are scared of it. So scared, they’re willing to lie about what EFCA does:

Big Lie #1:    “EFCA will eliminate the secret ballot election in union organizing campaigns.” Wrong - the language in EFCA keeps the option of having a secret ballot election, except it puts the decision to have an election in the workers’ hands, not the bosses. Since it’s the workers who are deciding whether or not to form a union, shouldn’t they be the ones to make that decision?

Big Lie #2:    “EFCA will subject workers to intimidation from union organizers.” Wrong again - the only intimidation going on in the workplace today regarding union elections is on the side of employers threatening to close if a union is elected, or firing or disciplining employees for supporting a union.

You can bet the house that thousands of union-busting consultants are developing  strategies right now for defeating card-check organizing if EFCA passes. And part of that strategy will continue to be threats and intimidation about jobs and closing workplaces if a union is voted in.

Big Lie #3:    “Unions may have been good once, but workers don’t really need them anymore because of government wage and safety regulations, and besides, employers have become enlightened about how to treat their employees.” Wrong a third time. Just ask the coal miners at Sago or Crandall Canyon how well their employers followed government regulations or how enlightened their bosses were.

EFCA will restore workplace rights for millions of Americans by:

  • Allowing employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation, or by holding a secret-ballot election should the workers–not the companies–choose to hold one.
  • Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union, and during first-contract negotiations.
  • Providing for mediation and arbitration of first-contract disputes.

Click here for more information about EFCA and how it will help American working families.


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