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News :: Labor
Home Depot, Bank of America Executives Caught on Tape trying to Defeat the EFCA
30 Jan 2009
Bank of America, Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, Rick Berman founder of Union Facts exposed on tape trying to Defeat The Employee Free Choice Act. Audio of the conference call, which was obtained by the Huffington Post, is excerpted throughout this piece to provide a clearer insight into the pitched battle surrounding the Employee Free Choice legislation.

Participants on the October 17 call--including at least one representative from another bailout recipient, AIG--were urged to persuade their clients to send "large contributions" to groups working against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), as well as to vulnerable Senate Republicans, who could help block passage of the bill. Bernie Marcus, the charismatic co-founder of Home Depot, led the call along with Rick Berman, an aggressive EFCA opponent and founder of the Center for Union Facts.
At one point, another individual on the call suggested that participants send major contributions to Berman's organization as a way of affecting the election without violating the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. "Some organizations have written checks for $250,000, $500,000, some $2 million for this," said the man, likely Steven Hantler, the director of free enterprise and entrepreneurship at Bernie Marcus' Marcus Foundation.

Citing the massive war chests that unions have brought to the EFCA fight, Marcus asked participants to make campaign donations rather than lobbying payments.

On the same day that The Huffington Post broke the news that financial executives receiving billions in bailout funds schemed to block the Employee Free Choice Act with campaign cash, Human Rights Watch issued a report endorsing the bill as vital to protecting workers' rights.

Now some reform groups, I've learned, are looking into whether the bailout recipients violated federal laws in using part of the bailout billions towards lobbying against the Employee Free Choice Act -- and could ask for a Congressional investigation.

Bailout Recipients Hosted Call To Defeat Key Labor Bill

For More Information on EFCA please visit our website and blog



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Republican Senators Say They Will Hold Up Solis Nomination.
29 Jan 2009
by James Parks, Jan 27, 2009

With unemployment at the highest level in decades, Senate Republicans are saying they will hold a vote on the nomination of a key Cabinet member in the fight to restore jobs in this ailing economy. Some conservative lawmakers are vowing to hold up a vote on Rep. Hilda Solis' (D-Calif.) confirmation as labor secretary because of their opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, which she supports.

Solis, who comes from a union family, has been a champion of workers for more than 15years combined in Congress and the California legislature, where she was the first Latina elected to the state Senate.

Solis backers have created two Facebook groups in support of her nomination: "Americans for Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor," and "1,000,000 Strong For Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor"-and each has some 300 members who signed up in the past few days. The groups give information on how to contact your senators to urge that Solis be confirmed. Sign up for both is open to any Facebook member.

Solis has a solid record on workers' issues, says Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation. Solis, who was raised in a union family, is
a serious, thoughtful, dedicated and result-oriented leader on working family issues.

In her four terms in Congress, Solis co-authored the Green Jobs Act, which later became part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The Green Jobs Act authorized $125 million for workforce training programs targeted to veterans, displaced workers, at-risk youth and individuals in families under 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

Before coming to Washington in 2001, Solis served as chairwoman of the California state Senate labor committee. In a letter to union leaders across the country, Pulaski outlines her accomplishments in the legislature:

She advanced legislation to protect the most exploited of workers, including farm workers, garment workers and janitors.

She strengthened penalties against child-labor law violators.

She led the efforts to improve minimum wage, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation and state disability insurance.

She established the first study on the viability of a state-paid family leave program, which paved the way for California to become the first state in the union to adopt such a program.

During the huge campaign by corporate interests and anti-worker politicians to silence workers' voice through the paycheck-deception Prop. 226, Solis contributed $100,000 to help in its defeat and Pulaski says "she led the way and surpassed any other elected official in support of labor's battle."

We urge you to contact your Senators and DEMAND that YOU want SOLIS Confirmed!

For More Information on EFCA please visit our website and blog


Coalition for a Democratic Workplace Exposed
01 Feb 2009
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, CDW spreads half-truths and lies about the Employee Free Choice Act to wage an ill-conceived assault on the rights and opportunities of millions of men and women across the country.

Here's the real scoop on the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace...

CDW is a front group for business associations, industry lobbying groups, and right-wing policy centers who are against workers getting a fair shake in this economy. Its financial backers include some of the most virulent anti-worker and anti-union organizations in the country, including:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's most powerful business lobbying organization,
the Retail Industry Leaders Association, a group whose biggest member is Wal-Mart, the poster child for low wages, and the Associated Builders and Contractors, an association of anti-union contractors who fight against workers having unions to improve their wages and safety on the job.

CDW is doing the dirty work for CEOs and corporate special interests. Too ashamed to be fighting publicly against policies that would provide workers with real economic opportunities, these companies instead use their deep pockets and powerful influence to fund CDW's dishonest PR and lobbying campaign.

The CEOs and multimillion dollar business industry groups backing CDW don't care about democracy or privacy. They're distorting the truth because they want to stop workers from having a better standard of living, access to health care, job security, and the rest of the benefits that accompany union membership.

These same groups oppose everything from paid sick days to fair pay and even the hugely popular Family and Medical Leave Act. It's unbelievable that business interests would suddenly care about privacy now, when corporations increasingly monitor employees' every move - including e-mail, phone calls, personal belongings, and even interactions outside of the workplace.

CDW spreads misinformation. Contrary to the lies and distortions displayed in CDW's new TV ad and on its website, the Employee Free Choice Act does not take secret ballots away from workers. The legislation instead offers employees an alternative to the current, broken system that is slanted heavily in favor of management against workers. In fact, the bill would ensure that workers can choose their own union formation process, either through majority sign-up or a National Labor Relations Board election.

CDW's own data and research is flawed. Instead of using well-respected academic research and public opinion surveys to test the merits and support for the Employee Free Choice Act, CDW released a poll in April 2008 claiming widespread opposition to the bill. However, even the most conservative political scientists and pundits could easily review the poll's loaded questions and determine that it in no way accurately tested the public's perceptions on the issue.

American Rights at Work will continue separating fact from fiction, exposing the deceptive front groups that stand in the way of economic progress for workers in this struggling economy and much-needed labor law reform.

Get the Real Facts about the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) please visit our website and blog