Employee Free Choice Act Passes House

  1. http://www.workdayminnesota.org/index.php?news_6_2915
    WASHINGTON - On a 241-185 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Employee Free Choice Act, making it easier for workers to join together to improve their wages, benefits and working conditions.
    The legislation faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate, however, and the Bush administration has vowed to veto the bill if it passes Congress. U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., said he will introduce the bill in the Senate soon, where it will likely face a filibuster by Republicans.

    Thirteen Republicans joined 228 Democrats in approving the Employee Free Choice Act in the House. It requires employers to recognize a union when a majority of workers sign up. This simple process would eliminate many of the delays and illegal employer abuses that occur in the current bureaucratic election process.

    Congressman Phil Hare, D-Ill., who worked for 13 years in a garment factory, called the Republican allegations a smoke-screen. The real issue, he said, is whether workers can have the opportunity to improve their lives and the future for their children.

    "I would not be here today as a member of the United States Congress if it were not for my union," he said. "My union helped me send my kids to college. It helped me buy a house . . . But sadly more and more Americans are seeing these opportunities slip away."
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    About HM2VikingRN

    Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 11,159; Likes: 11,316

    12 Comments

  3. by   RN BSN 2009
    Sweet!
  4. by   Simplepleasures
    From AFL CIO;
    http://blog.aflcio.org/2007/03/01/ho...ee-choice-act/
    "Because of today's vote, the future looks a little brighter to all Americans who have watched corporations celebrate record profits, but have themselves been shut out of the party,left with stagnent wages and facing soaring costs."

    EXCELLENT!! Does it seem to anyone that the pendulum is swinging back to the left? Or at least toward that way? I think its backlash for the last 6 years, could this be a come back for unions?
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Mar 2, '07
  5. by   HM2VikingRN
    that is the goal!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hkhen2tzhs

    in a last-minute, desperate effort to delay passage of the bill, republicans tried to get the bill recommitted or sent back to committee. republicans wanted to add a provision that only u.s. citizens be allowed to sign union authorization cards. the house rejected the recommitment by a margin of 225–202.
    rep. [color=#dd0011]george miller (d-calif.) lashed out at the republicans, calling the recommitment ploy a cynical act. he pointed out that under the current law it’s up to employers to ensure that all their workers are documented. trying to move that responsibility to unions is just another example of republican anti-worker sentiment, he said.
    this [recommitment move] just shows how much you really hate workers.
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Mar 2, '07
  6. by   Simplepleasures
    WOW, this is really exciting, It has been a long painful time for the poor and middle class, but maybe if we can get quality leadership , like Rep.George Miller and others in power for the next election , we just might have a chance to save this country from the GREED of the corporate robber barons , get manufacturing jobs back in this country, and treat our workers with dignity and respect. Plus we can save SO much corporate waste in healthcare with universal healthcare. I believe that it may be a long , long time before the poor and middle class forget what the right wing capitalists have done. I really loved it when, Rep. Miller stated,"Its a new day in town!"
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Mar 2, '07
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    Labor law reform back on track

    ...if you're wondering what is really at issue, observe the representation process from the employer side. Union certification imposes on an employer a "duty to bargain." That, in fact, is the point of the exercise. It's to make employers, who in earlier days never granted union recognition willingly, sit down and bargain, and thereby -- or so the law's authors hoped -- call a stop to our uniquely violent industrial history. But resistance to collective bargaining never really abated. It just moved from the picket line to the certification process. Anti-union employers are defending the secret-ballot version because it is the most efficient way of fending off an outcome they detest. It is as simple as that.

    Kazakhstan boasts the secret ballot. Yet, no one would argue that Kazakhstan meets American standards for free and fair elections. The representation election at the American workplace doesn't, either. Yes, there's a secret ballot. But the playing field -- what transpires before the worker enters the voting booth -- almost ludicrously favors the employer. He can make employees attend mandatory meetings and one-on-one interviews; he can tell them their jobs are at stake; and he doesn't have to put up with troublemakers. He fires them. The president of Kazakhstan doesn't have it any better....

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...DGRJN7A9C1.DTL
  8. by   Simplepleasures
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason...ployee_choice/

    time for regime change for american workers

    "instead of just promoting democracy abroad, our government should defend the liberty of workers at home by supporting the new labor reform bill."

    "since 1935, the rights to organize has been whittled away by legislation, poked with holes by the appeals courts and reduced to irrelevancy by a well meaning bureaucracy(nlrb) that has let itself be intiidated by political and legal thuggery."

    "the time may have come at last for a bit of regime change in the warehouse, the factory, and the nursing home."
  9. by   weirdRN
    Quote from ingelein
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason...ployee_choice/

    time for regime change for american workers

    "instead of just promoting democracy abroad, our government should defend the liberty of workers at home by supporting the new labor reform bill."

    "since 1935, the rights to organize has been whittled away by legislation, poked with holes by the appeals courts and reduced to irrelevancy by a well meaning bureaucracy(nlrb) that has let itself be intiidated by political and legal thuggery."

    "the time may have come at last for a bit of regime change in the warehouse, the factory, and the nursing home."
    amen!
  10. by   obme
    I was part of the Labor rally in Chicago this weekend to support the EFCA. Everyday I hear stories or have personally felt the sting of management's stubtle or not so subltle means of letting their employees know if they traverse down a union path, your life will be made miserable. I like to call it death-by-a-thousand-cuts. We are all tired of employers getting away with this intimidation and professional undermining. This rally was a bright spot for all of us who are tirelessly working to organize in our hospital system. My thanks to Sen. Durbin, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, John Sweeny,and Sen. Obama.
  11. by   NRSKarenRN
    ana announces its endorsement for the employee free choice act (h.r. 800)
    03/02/07

    the american nurses association (ana) announces its endorsement for the employee free choice act (h.r. 800). the employee free choice act would restore and protect workers' rights to form unions. ana has always been an advocate for worker's rights to unionize, and defends the rights of all workers to bargain for better wages, working conditions and benefits. ana actively supports initiatives which serve to strengthen the economic and general welfare of nurses. read ana statement...
  12. by   Sherwood
    The "Employee Free Choice Act" would remove your right to vote in a voting booth in private. Union organizers and employees supporting the union can surround you in the parking lot, corner you in the restroom or stare you down in the breakroom until you sign "the card". Peer pressure or mob pressure compels you for your safety to sign "the card". Is this the way important decisions should be made? With you "on stage" forced to make a decision that will affect your job, your future and your families future while everyone stops and watches?


    We Save Your Life - Please Save Our Right to Vote!
    Nurses and other caregivers work long hours, under great stress, all across the country. We make sacrifices for you, our patients, every day.
    One sacrifice we shouldn't have to make is giving up our right to vote.
    Union bosses are spending $400 million in a campaign of deception to steal our right to vote, so they can reach into our paychecks and take our hard earned money.
    The "Card Check Bill" passed by the US House of Representatives soon will be taken up by the US Senate. It would be used to deprive Nurses and other caregivers of the right they now enjoy under federal labor law: a right to a secret ballot election on whether to unionize.
    If the union gets a majority of staff to sign union cards - even if by threats, misrepresentation, or mistake - the union gets in without a vote. Today, we can go and vote privately in a voting booth and in secret, according to our conscience without fear of retribution or retaliation. Only we know how we voted. This law - misnamed the "Employee Free Choice Act" or "EFCA", by union bosses - would take that right away.
    Once unionized, labor bosses can demand that we pay union dues - or get fired. They do that in most states today. If the union gets its way, by next year, nurses in all 50 states could be fired for not paying union dues - nurses who never got to vote!
    Please support us in our fight to protect our right to vote in a secret ballot election. We work to save your lives - please work to help us save our rights. Call your Senator - or Senate candidate - and tell them to STOP the EFCA/"Card Check" bill.
    I support the Nurses and other caregivers' rights to a secret ballot election and oppose any effort by the US Senate to take that right away with EFCA.
  13. by   RN4MERCY
    Quote from Sherwood
    Union organizers and employees supporting the union can surround you in the parking lot, corner you in the restroom or stare you down in the breakroom until you sign "the card". Peer pressure or mob pressure compels you for your safety to sign "the card".
    You speak of cornered stare downs in parking lots and restrooms? "Mob pressure compels you for your safety"...to sign a union authorization card? This is an example of the tired, worn out anti-union consultant rhetoric that I've heard so many times. But, I have to ask, is that what compelled you to sign pro-union cards?

    Seriously, Sherwood, we're nurses, right? We sign legal documents everyday. We collect data, analyze facts, synthesize information, make decisions, implement plans, and evaluate our hypothesis and assessments using the scientific method. We validate informed consent for a living. We call irritable surgeons in the middle of the night to report critical lab values, get orders, and sometimes just because a befuddled or angry patient or their family demands to speak to the doctor.

    In my experience, nurses who organize and join a union are exercising their freedom of association rights. They want to act collectively to remove hostile administrative and corporate barriers to their ability to provide safe, therapeutic care for their patients. As a pro-active, pro-RN union organizer, nurses are intelligent and understand what they're signing when they agree to form a union to bargain collectively for better wages, hours, and working conditions. It shouldn't be any harder to form or join a union than signing up to join the Girl Scouts or become a member of a church or synagogue. Nurses are capable, professional decision makers, with finely tuned critical thinking skills.

    Perhaps without realizing it, you may be selling your colleagues short, and paternalistically trivializing their intelligence. Nurses and other workers who want to unionize fear their employers' threats, both real and implied, that they will lose their jobs and benefits. The most "anti-union" nurses I know are usually married to someone in management, and, as the saying goes, "it's hard to get a man to understand something, when his paycheck depends on his not understanding it."

    Money spent on union busters could be better spent on mentorship programs, better health benefits, and more staff to take care of patients. Just maybe the price of admission to a hospital and the cost to provide health care would be reduced if hospitals didn't keep some of the money it takes out of patients' pockets to use it against their nurses. EFCA will help insure that hospital revenues are not diverted for that purpose.
  14. by   Ludlow
    Wow, just like the current Republican administration, when you don't have a legitimate argument you resort to fear. As long as you don't corner me in the lady's bathroom, I think we're all independent enough to make up our own minds to join a union or not. Give Democracy a chance, Sherwood, you might like it.

    I don't think the Employee Free Choice Act will make it past Bush without a veto proof majority, but it will become law next year.

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