Thursday, September 4, 2008

The ability for workers to organize is an important American right

On Labor Day this year, I joined a group of workers from Northwest Indiana to show solidarity with workers from three companies that are engaged in ongoing first contract negotiations. In all three cases, the workers exercised their right to form a union through a democratic vote, but have been unable to come to terms with their employers on their first contracts.

The ability for workers to organize is an important American right that has helped many of us obtain a living wage, affordable healthcare, and a secure retirement—three things that I believe every American deserves. Sadly, under President Bush, many workers’ rights have deteriorated. People are working longer and harder for less.

In these tough economic times with wages down, costs up, and jobs being outsourced overseas, I believe it is important to continue to provide America’s workers with the opportunity to organize and bargain collectively.

On March 1, 2007, the House of Representatives passed the Employee Free Choice Act. I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this important bill. The Employee Free Choice Act would allow employees to choose freely whether to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation, a method knows as “card check.” Further, the measure would provide mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes that last over 90 days, and would establish stronger penalties to discourage employers from illegally firing or discriminating against employees who attempt to form a union or negotiate a first contract. Unfortunately, the bill is stalled in the Senate and Northwest Indiana’s new unions that are negotiating their first contracts cannot go to mediation and arbitration.

America’s workers deserve the Employee Free Choice Act, just as they deserve a living wage, affordable healthcare, and a secure retirement, and I will continue to push for all those things.

Pete Visclosky
Member of Congress

Washington Office
2256 Rayburn
House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
phone: (202) 225-2461
fax: (202) 225-2493

Northwest Indiana Office
701 East 83rd Avenue, Suite 9
Merrillville, IN 46410
phone: (219) 795-1844
(888) 423-PETE (toll-free)
fax: (219) 795-1850

Most Popular Posts this Week...
Do you like to ski?
Help Find this missing girl!
Read this alone
The Affiliate X Factor Program
Do you want to write a book? tips and tricks on getting started.

No comments:

Subscribe via email to get my News Shorts updates

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner