New Video Lays Out the Case for Employee Free Choice
Across the country, a campaign is under way to turn around the economy and make it work for everyone again by passing the Employee Free Choice Act, a critical bill to restore the freedom to form unions and bargain. Despite public support for the freedom to bargain in the workplace, the Employee Free Choice Act has come under heavy fire from big-money corporate lobbyists and shady front groups hoping to defeat it and preserve corporate domination over the process. The AFL-CIO has a new video to cut through the deceptive campaign and give the facts about the Employee Free Choice Act.
Arlene Holt Baker, executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, narrates the 10-minute video. She says that while emergency action is needed to create jobs and help the economy recover, turning around the economy in the longer term means giving workers the power to bargain for a better life.
No matter what the President and Congress ultimately enact, it will not create broadly shared prosperity and rebuild the middle class unless we restore workers’ ability to bargain for better health care, pensions and fair wages by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.
Included in the video is footage of President Obama, who co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act in the Senate and pledged to sign it into law as president. Obama is a strong supporter of the freedom to form unions, and his words illustrate the importance of unions in preserving health care, pensions, safe working conditions and fair wages for all workers—not just those in unions.
The video also highlights workers who have faced challenges in their efforts to form a union, as well as policy experts from the AFL-CIO and allied organizations.
The video, which is being featured at union meetings around the country, describes the reasons the system for forming unions is broken and how that broken system has undermined our economy. Holt Baker and others call out the dishonest corporate campaign against the Employee Free Choice Act, describing in detail the secretive front groups that, under misleading names, are spending millions from undisclosed corporate donors to distort, distract and misinform the public, the press and elected leaders.
Mary Beth Maxwell, executive director of American Rights at Work, cuts through the spin and explains that these front groups, despite their pleasant-sounding names, are bent on preserving corporate control, not protecting workers.
These are the same people who opposed an increase in the minimum wage, who oppose paid sick days, who are rolling back health and safety regulations in the workplace. I don’t think this is really about workers’ rights for them.
The freedom to bargain in the workplace protects every worker and ensures all workers get a fair share of the value they create. That’s good for the economy as a whole, Maxwell says:
Stronger unions, and workers’ ability to organize unions, means a stronger economy for all of us….More workers in unions raises the bar for all workers.
Holt Baker says we now have a unique opportunity to pass the Employee Free Choice Act and give workers the freedom to form unions and bargain. But while working families need this change, it won’t happen on its own: We need to educate our neighbors, our co-workers, our elected leaders and the press, and we need to fight back against the falsehoods and corporate greed that are standing in the way of the Employee Free Choice Act and a better life for workers.
Sharing this video with others is a great start.