Slide Show Boosts Labor’s Top Priority:
Pass the Employee Free Choice Act
APWU Web News Article #053-09, May 1, 2009
Workers across the country have been sending a powerful message to their senators and representatives: Support the Employee Free Choice Act.
And a new APWU slide show is helping to spread the word. Suitable for use at union meetings and other events, the slide show explains what the bill would do; how it would benefit postal workers, and how it would strengthen the middle class.
The Employee Free Choice Act is based on a simple premise: If a majority of employees in a workplace want a union, they should be able to have one.
The legislation (H.R. 1409 in the House of Representatives and S. 650 in the Senate) would:
President Obama has pledged to sign the Employee Free Choice Act into law.
But passing it won’t be easy. The House of Representatives is expected to pass it by a wide margin: The challenge will be in the Senate, where supporters will need 60 votes to overcome an expected “filibuster.” (Thirty-nine senators have signed on as co-sponsors.)
Stopping EFCA is the top priority for many big businesses and their anti-labor allies in Washington DC. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has dedicated $200 million to fund an ad campaign to defeat EFCA. And opponents are putting severe pressure on senators to vote “no.”
“APWU members must encourage their senators to vote ‘yes,’” said APWU President William Burrus. “Supporting the freedom to bargain is an act of solidarity with workers who are less fortunate than we are. The legislation will also help us preserve good postal jobs.”
APWU Secretary-Treasurer Terry Stapleton echoed that sentiment. “A large pool of non-unionized workers allows employers to keep wages low — even for members of unions,” he said. Among the “unorganized” workers are truck drivers, custodians, mail processors, parcel sorters, and retail clerks, Stapleton noted, many of whom work for private contractors and perform duties similar to APWU members. Postal representatives routinely cite these workers for comparison during contract negotiations with the APWU, he said.
The APWU is asking locals and state organizations to raise funds for the AFL-CIO’s Turn Around America media campaign to promote the Employee Free Choice Act. Checks should be made payable to the AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, and mailed to Office of the Executive Vice President AFL-CIO, 815 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20006. Please note Turn Around America Fund in the check’s memo line. Locals and state organizations are asked to notify the APWU Secretary-Treasurer’s office of their contributions, so that they can be recognized for their efforts.
The APWU recently produced two other slide shows on issues of interest to APWU activists: