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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Key Provision of Employee Free Choice Act in Jeopardy
20 Aug 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Key Provision of Employee Free Choice Act in Jeopardy

Interview with Mark Brenner, director of Labor Notes, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

In late July, Democrats in Congress signaled they may drop their support for a key provision of the Employee Free Choice Act -- legislation the labor movement has said is its top priority. The provision in question, referred to as "card check," would require an employer to recognize a union among its workers if a majority of them simply sign union cards, and would not require a secret ballot election now mandated under the National Labor Relations Act. While not ruling out a secret election, the legislation would simply shift the decision-making power about the union ballot process from the employer to the workers.

Under current law, tens of thousands of employees are fired or discriminated against every year for supporting a union. An estimated 60 million Americans would like to join a union, but are unable to do so under the current system. The nation's major corporations, trade associations and conservative groups have vowed to fight the Employee Free Choice Act and pledged to spend millions of dollars to defeat its passage in Congress.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Mark Brenner, director of Labor Notes, a media and organizing project that publishes a monthly magazine. Since its founding in 1979, Labor Notes has been bringing together union activists, leaders and rank-and-file members to strengthen the labor movement -- from the bottom up. Here, Brenner explains where the Employee Free Choice Act now stands and how employers or their workers can benefit, depending on which provisions make it through the legislative process.

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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