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The Middle Employee Free Choice Act of 2007

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:31 AM
Original message
The Middle Employee Free Choice Act of 2007

Rep. George Miller
Senate: Yea-51, Nay-48
House: Yea-241, Nay-185
Failed a procedural vote in the Senate which required a 60-vote supermajority: 06.26.07
The Legislation:

The Employee Free Choice Act streamlines procedures for employees to decide on union representation and bargain a first contract. Under this bill, a union would be automatically recognized in a workplace when a majority of employees sign cards stating that they want to be represented by that union. To facilitate agreement on a first contract for employees after the union is recognized, the bill enables either the union or management to refer any disputes about the contract to mediation if an accord has not been reached within 90 days after bargaining begins. If the mediator is unable to reach a deal within an additional 30 days, the dispute will go to binding arbitration. Finally, the bill increases penalties for violations of labor law: raising fines, tripling the amount of back wages employees can receive if they are illegally fired or discriminated against for exercising their labor rights, and requiring the courts to seek injunctions against employers, as well as unions, that violate labor laws.
The Middle-Class Position:

The Middle Class Supports.Unions were instrumental in creating the American middle class as we know it, and today they continue to empower millions of Americans to bargain for wages and benefits that are capable of sustaining a middle-class standard of living. Union jobs are significantly more likely to offer dignified wages; sick, family, and vacation leave policies; health care; and retirement plans. In areas where unions represent a high proportion of workers in a particular industry, they can even help to raise industry standards across-the-board, improving wages and job quality even for workers who don't belong.

Yet the system meant to protect the rights of employees to join unions no longer functions. Sluggish and weak enforcement of labor rights permits employers to routinely break the law, harassing and intimidating employees who try to organize. Illegal bribes, threats, and even the firing of union organizers are commonplace. Employees who dare to stand up for their right to join a union can face years of unemployment when they are illegally fired, while employers face virtually no penalty for denying their employees basic legal rights. By strengthening penalties and replacing the easily abused mechanism of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) elections with a streamlined employee sign-up procedure, the Employee Free Choice Act would restore Americans ability to choose union representation. In every workplace where a majority of employees want union representation, they could join easily, and begin to bargain for the pay and benefits that would enable them to enter the middle class.

FULL story at link.

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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. this is failed legislation isn't it? and would it be applicable in "right to work" states
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 10:19 AM by crikkett
like Texas?
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It will be introduced again this year

The R's held it up with cloture. We need to pick up just one R more than likely to pass it this year. Obama was a co sponsor last year btw.

It would make a big difference in all the right to work states. They would still be right to work, but organizing AND first contracts would get a big boost.

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