Employee Free Choice Act: Critical Legislation

By Jeff Crosby, President

     The most important piece of labor legislation since the 1930s is in front of the US Senate right now.  It has become almost impossible to organize unions today, since companies routinely intimidate workers.  Threats to close the business, “captive audience” meetings, and outright firings often turn a majority of workers who want a union into a minority.  For example, a hospital worker who was trying to bring in a union was pulled into a meeting with four managers who told her that if the union won an election they would never get a contract, the workers would be forced out on strike, and the cancer patients the workers cared for would have no one to care for them. Then, if workers manage to survive those tactics, companies stall and stall and never agree to a first contract.
     The Employee Free Choice Act, which has already passed the US House of Representatives, will change that and allow the millions of US workers who want to join unions to do so free of intimidation.  It will level the playing field.  If a majority of workers sign up to be in a union, the employer will have to recognize the union and start to bargain.  If the company refuses to come to any kind of agreement on a first contract, a third party arbitrator will bring the parties together and rule on the elements of the first contract, and it will be implemented.
     This will change things dramatically in the United States, probably reversing the decline of the labor movement in numbers, and allow us to bargain collectively and also to address inequality and lack of health care, etc in this country.
     The Massachusetts delegation is already on board.  But we need every New HampshireIB Image member to call Senator Sununu’s office and ask him to support the Employee Free Choice Act.   
     The moment is critical.  The numbers are 603-647-7500 (Manchester), 603-577-8965 (Nashua), 603-430-0058 (Portsmouth).  Do it now.
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At right, Legislative Com. Co-Chairman Karl Eddy makes calls to N.H. members asking them to lobby for the Employee Free Choice Act.