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News :: Labor
The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) NOW
13 Dec 2008
The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is legislation in the United States which aims to "amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes.
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Under current labor law, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board will certify a union as the exclusive representative of employees if it is elected by either a majority signature drive, the card check process, or by secret ballot NLRB election, which is held if more than 30% of employees in a bargaining unit sign statements asking for representation by a union. If enacted, this bill would require the NLRB to certify a bargaining representative without directing an election if a majority of the bargaining unit employees signed cards, the card check process.
Pursuant to the bill, a union can demand that an employer begin bargaining with it 10 days after the union is certified as the exclusive bargaining representative for an appropriate unit of employees via the card check. In addition, if the union and employer cannot agree upon the terms of a first collective bargaining contract within 90 days, either party can request federal mediation, which could lead to binding arbitration if an agreement still cannot be reached after 30 days of mediation.
Finally, the Act would provide for liquidated damages of three times back pay if employers were found to have unlawfully terminated pro-union employees. The EFCA also would impose a $20,000.00 penalty upon employers for each employer violation of the proposed legislation if the NLRB and/or a court deems the violation willful or repetitive.
10 KEY FACTS about the Employee Free Choice Act
America’s workers want to form unions. Research shows nearly 60 million would form a union tomorrow if given the chance.Too few ever get that chance. The Employee Free Choice Act would give workers a fair chance
Allowing them to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation.
Providing mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes
Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first-contract negotiations.
In the 110th Congress, the Employee Free Choice Act had widespread support.
More than three-quarters of Americans—77 percent—support strong laws that give employees the freedom to make their own choice about whether to have a union in their workplace without interference from management.
Workers can still vote under the Employee Free Choice Act.
At any time, if 30 percent of the workers want an election, they can have one. And once they have a union, workers also vote to elect their union representatives.
First-contract arbitration is a key provision of the Employee Free Choice Act.
Here is how it works:
If a new union and an employer are bargaining for their first contract and are unable to reach an agreement within 90 days, either party may request mediation by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). After 30 days of mediation, if there is still no agreement, the dispute is referred to binding arbitration.
How will the Employee Free Choice Act help?
By giving workers the right to request mediation and arbitration, the Employee Free Choice Act guarantees that every worker who forms a union will get a contract. Likewise, by granting workers the recourse of mediation and arbitration, the Employee Free Choice Act eliminates the incentive for employers to bargain in bad faith. Knowing that delaying the process indefinitely is no longer an option,employers are much more likely to bargain in good faith.
The Employee Free Choice Act will dramatically reduce the delay, frustration and animosity associated with the current company-dominated system and union-busting tactics.
Union busting is a field populated by bullies and built on deceit.
A campaign against a union is an assault on individuals and a war on truth. As such, it is a war without honor. The only way to bust a union is to lie, distort, manipulate, threaten, and always, always attack. ”
Martin Jay Levitt, 1993,
Confessions of a Union Buster
Allowing working people to choose for themselves whether to have a union is the key step toward rebuilding America’s middle class. Union membership brings better wages and benefits and a real voice on the job It’s no accident that the 25-year decline in workers’ wages in our country has paralleled a 25-year slide in the size of the America’s unions.
The Employee Free Choice Act would put democracy back into the workplace. Majority sign-up would ensure the decision whether to form a union was made by majority choice, not by the employer unilaterally.
The Employee Free Choice Act has the support of hundreds of respected organizations and individuals—major religious denominations, academics and civil and human rights groups and others.
The AFL-CIO union movement is working in many ways to restore good jobs, health care and retirement security—but passing the Employee Free Choice Act is our top priority because we cannot create balance for working people or rebuild the middle class unless workers genuinely have the freedom to form unions for a better life.
Join the Million-Member
The Employee Free Choice Act can help reclaim the American Dream by restoring workers' freedom to form unions and bargain for a better life. Our goal is to gather signatures in support of this bill- 1 million voices calling for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. But 1 million people is a lot of people. We won't reach our goal without your help and the help of your friends and family. Please support this bill and help us reach our goal of 1 million signatures—sign the petition today online at the SPFPA website www.SPFPA.ORG
To: The New President, Senators and Congress
I urge you to enact the Employee Free Choice Act immediately.
This crucial legislation will protect workers’ freedom to choose a union and bargain, without management intimidation. Allowing more workers to freely join unions and bargain with their employers will help rebuild the middle class by expanding health care, improving retirement security and raising the standard of living for America’s working families. My bargaining rights are worth working for and voting for!
A Message from the International Union, Security Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA). The Largest, Oldest and Fastest Growing 9(b)(3) Security Police UNION in the World Today! www.SPFPA.ORG
This work is in the public domain