with over 700,000 signatures, we have to get to the million mark.
Just click the image below and print it
We have run it throughout the jobsites here in New York, and I am happy to say we have gotten quite a response, I haven't picked them up from the hall in recent weeks, but last i checked, we had over 600, I will be picking them up this Wednesday and dropping them off at the AFL-CIO office some time next week.
You can do this too, get the number of your local AFL-CIO, CTW or Labor Federation or Council and send them there, I'm sure the internationals would also accept them.
Just do something
So what's the fact's?
Here's some recent fact's I wrote on The Employee Free Choice Act to a user over at UnionReview who asked in the story "Don't get fooled by McGovern's anti- Employee Free Choice Act ad's during the debate tonight":
Secret Ballot?To which I responded:
Submitted by NYCElectrician3 on Mon, 10/13/2008 - 6:55pm.
Can somebody explain the whole loss of a secret vote thing to me I have searched and searched but my brain is having trouble filtering fact from made up stuff.
UnionGal, point's out in her article Not so fast CNN
currently, if a group want's to get out of a union: Let's say that more than half of your local want's to get out of your union, and be non-union, all they would have to do now is get a petition signed by more than half the work force that states that they want to get out of the union and send it to the NLRB. Then all of the workers would no longer be in a union.
You don't need a secret ballot to decertify a union!
OK, so we got that out of the way.
Currently if a group of workers, let's say 100, wants to be in a union, they will have to seek out an organizer, if one is not currently working on the case, then get at least 30%+1 of the grroup to sign cards that state their intention.
Now the fun begins, because after the workers sign the cards and the organizer sends them to the NLRB to set a date for a "secret ballot" election, most companies will get themselves a union-avoidance firm to figure out what steps to take to make sure the workers will not become unionized. Usually, from what I have read, the interim is roughly about a month and a half.
Under the advice of said firms and anti-union lawyers, the company will then do everything possible to stop their workers from becoming union. This includes, even though it is illegal, firing pro-union workers, creating an atmosphere of worker against worker, showing movies that are against unions, having closed door meetings with each employee one on one, threaten to leave the country if they decide to become union, in a recent case here in NY with the Carpenter's trying to organize the workers at a nonunion site they threaten the employees with guns and destroying records of employment if they vote yes to union.
If it's illegal, how do they get away with it? Because in the past 30 years, the NLRB has been underfunded and torn to ribbons by politico's who get their backing from corporations. Currently it takes months, sometimes years to go through all the back log's of NLRB complaints. Not to mention the penalties are usually extremely low if any at all.
Here's some food for thought, if the current "secret ballot" election was even moderately fair to employees, how could anyone possibly explain all the Wal-Mart's, Target's, McDonald's and Home Depot's that are a predominant fixture of America landscape, and not one of them has a single union employee?
The Employee Free Choice Act would change that, it would make it so that if 51 of those 100 employees mentioned above were to sign a "union authorization" card, they would be in a union.
Hence the union avoidance and anti-union lawyers, who are contributing enourmously against the legislation, would lose their bread and butter. That, my friend is a billion dollar industry and they aren't gonna give up so easy.
Another tidbit in the legislation is the increase in fines against unscropulous employers who break the law during an organizing drive and a time frame where the first contract must be negotiated or an independent board will create one.
Currently, even if the employees were to get through the gauntlet of everything stacked against the and "secret-ballot" vote in a union, theres no reason to believe that the employer will ever recognize their union.
For instance the employees of Goya foods, who voted to be union in 1998, I think have finally got their first contract in 2008:Ten years later, workers are still waiting.
NEW YORK, April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On April 24th, a three-judge
panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that Goya
Foods must negotiate a contract with Goya warehouse and sales workers in Miami
seeking better wages and working conditions. UNITE, a predecessor union of
UNITE HERE, won National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) elections to organize
these workers in 1998. But a decade later, the workers still do not have the
benefits of a union contract.
During the organizing campaign, Goya used a host of tactics - including
harassing workers who supported the union, threatening workers, and holding
mandatory meetings full of anti-union diatribes - in an effort to avoid
unionization. After the workers voted overwhelmingly for union representation,
Goya worked to frustrate the workers' desires. The company had weak
enforcement of federal labor laws on its side as it sought to weaken and
divide the workers to the point at which they would give up on forming a
union. UNITE filed charges with the NLRB, challenging Goya's recalcitrance
during bargaining, their unilateral changes in working conditions, and their
discriminatory treatment of those who openly supported the union.
In 1999, the NLRB's General Counsel charged Goya with at least twenty-three
violations of U.S. labor law, including threats of job loss, plant closings,
interrogation, discrimination in work assignments, and the firing of at least
three union supporters. Later in 1999, Goya stopped bargaining with UNITE and
illegally withdrew recognition of the union.
So now you know a few of the fact's about The Employee Free Choice Act, it would turn the tide against the oppressors of the American worker, it could actually bring back the middle class, or at least stop us from paying for the subsidized medical that all those nonunion employee's at the Wal-Mart's and Target's need to get now. It might actually give a few people in this country a couple of disposable income dollars that they could reinvest into businesses.
Remember also, that it wasn't until business interests changed the way people organized into a union that a "secret ballot" was created, the card check was the way the labor movement started. AT&T uses the card check for it's wireless employees, they seem to be doing well, so do H&M clothing stores and they are expanding across the island of Manhattan. There are others, but it's late.
Hope that explained a bit of it. If you get a chance sign the petition, it's the One Million Strong button on the side of the site,
heres more from my site, a must view video is at the link "Video: Massive corporations against The Employee Free Choice Act", it can explain it better than me.
What do I know, I'm just 1 of the 7% of American's in the private sector who are in a union, so I may have missed a point or 2, as with everything else I write, if anyone out there see's an error, I'm willing to learn.
That's the facts brother, spread it around the job, get more signatures.
If more people were union in this country, it would bring up the standard for all workers, except those lawyers and lobbyist I mentioned above.
There's no room for us to be bamboozled anymore
PS: Just rethinking about the "democracy of a secret ballot", I don't remember voting for Secretary Treasurer Paulson, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters...
They have beaten the balls off the middle-class and the American Worker for quite some time, how about that guy Bush sent to head the NLRB, in the campaign against the American worker, Robert Batista, he just resigned to work for the biggest anti-union law firm in the United States, didn't vote for him either. Shit I didn't even get a chance to sign a card...
Take this op-ed in the Hill by Gordon Lafer, a political scientist at the University of Oregon and the author of Free and Fair? How Labor Law Fails U.S. Democratic Election Standards:
For instance, in elections for Congress or the president, it is illegal for a private corporation to tell its employees anything that favors one candidate or the other. But in workplace elections, it is standard practice for supervisors to hold repeated one-on-one conversations with the individuals they oversee. Here, the person who has the most direct control over hiring and firing, promotion, raises, hours and duties tells their subordinates in no uncertain terms why a union would be bad for them. The message is clear: If you ever want a raise, or a day off to take your kid to a doctor, you better not support the union.Kirsten's article is a great read
Many of the tactics used to intimidate employees are legal. However, because federal labor law contains no possibility of punitive fines, prison or any other type of sanction, employers break the law at will. Last year, approximately 15,000 Americans were illegally fired, suspended or otherwise financially punished for trying to form a union in their workplace.
An election where one party controls the media, requires voters to attend its rallies, enforces a gag order on opponents and fires voters for backing the opposition is undemocratic and un-American. The Employee Free Choice Act would reform the current system to guarantee that Americans who want to form a union are able to do so in part by ending the charade that we call a Labor Board election by giving workers a second option: the choice to form a union by a majority sign-up process