Contribute to the Union Movement's EFCA Campaign!
(03/24/09) What’s the best shield for a worker when the economy is crumbling? A union card.
And what’s the best leverage for America’s workers when the economy is shambles? A larger, stronger union movement.
With those simple truths in mind, the APWU is asking locals and state organizations to raise funds to help win passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.
“Don't sit on the sidelines of a fight that will determine the well-being of working families — union and non-union — for generations,” wrote Secretary-Treasurer Terry Stapleton and Myke Reid, director of the Legislative and Political Department, in a letter to APWU local and state presidents. [Letter - PDF | Donation Form - PDF]
“Even though we already have a union, the passage of the EFCA is essential to the APWU membership,” they said. The legislation would make it easier for workers to choose to form unions, and would stiffen penalties for employers who retaliate against workers who try to gain a voice in the workplace.
As long as workers are denied a fair chance to form unions, postal jobs will be threatened, Stapleton and Reid wrote. When workers performing similar work make less, postal management argues that postal employees should earn less as well.
“The Employee Free Choice Act is the most significant labor legislation is decades,” the letter says. Passing the bill is the top priority of the labor movement — and the APWU — in 111th Congress.
By the same token, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says defeating the Employee Free Choice Act is its top priority. Opponents of the legislation have vowed to spend $200 million on an advertising campaign aimed at derailing the legislation.
The APWU letter calls on locals and state organizations to help counter “the propaganda war” the business groups are planning by contributing $2 per member to the AFL-CIO’s “Turn American Around” fund. The letter noted that at the national level, the APWU is contributing thousands of dollars in support of the Employee Free Choice Act.
“We have to show the new Congress and President Obama how broad the support is for the Employee Free Choice Act,” Stapleton and Reid wrote. “Make sure they know that guaranteeing workers the freedom to bargain is a critical part of their mandate for change.”
The legislation was introduced on March 10. The House bill (H.R. 1409), introduced by Rep. George Miller (D-CA), has 224 co-sponsors, and the Senate bill (S. 560), introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), has 39.
Donations to boost the Employee Free Choice Act are not restricted by the Hatch Act. “APWU locals can vote to spend money directly from their local’s treasury to help pass the Act,” the letter noted.