Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Employee Free Choice Act: Fighting For Workers Right To Organize And Collectively Bargain

The Employee Free Choice Act: Fighting for Workers Right to Organize and Collectively Bargain

Over the past 19 years, Jobs with Justice coalitions have proven again and again that when enough of us stand together, we all start winning. More than 41 million workers say they want a union, yet workers who attempt to organize face vicious employer opposition.

Labor law and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) fail to prevent or punish illegal or immoral employer behavior; 25% of employers illegally fire at least one worker during a union campaign, and 1/3 of employers never negotiate first contracts even after workers vote to join a union. Workers need support from their communities to ensure that they are able to exercise their democratic right to organize.

Our country's labor law system is broken. NLRB elections fail to meet U.S. standards for democratic elections. Employers can obstruct workers' attempts to organize and bargain in bad faith with organized workers and receive only a slap on the wrist, if they are punished at all. We desperately need comprehensive labor law reform, such as the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would hold employers accountable for respecting workers' rights.

JWJ coalitions throughout our network are engaged in promoting labor law reform-and in fighting alongside workers who are trying to organize every day. When community members stand with public transit workers; when congregations stand with health care workers; when nurses stand with janitors; when we stand together, we can win, even in today's harsh anti-worker climate.

JWJ has worked on thousands of union organizing, bargaining, and first contract campaigns. Since 2000, JWJ has helped more than 70,000 workers organize unions at 160 workplaces. That track record demonstrates the strength of the JWJ model of permanent coalitions, where labor, religious, student, and other community allies commit to work together to support a campaign for as long as it takes, upholding our core principles of solidarity, militant creative action, and strategic power analysis.

Help workers win back their right to organize and have a choice in how that will be decided, either by secret ballot or signing a card.  Link has been broken since at least August 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

JWJ's first "First Friday" action draws more than 150

Detroit: On March 4, more than 150 people, chanting and carrying signs including ones that read "Money for jobs, not the banks," rallied at the Michigan Labor Legacy Monument near Hart Plaza in Downtown Detroit to call attention to the city's high unemployment.

This First Friday for Full Employment rally, the first one in Detroit, was organized by Southeast Michigan Jobs With Justice (JWJ) and its Jobs Committee along with support from the UAW, Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, SEIU, two postal workers locals, Detroit Federation of Musicians, Moratorium NOW, OPEIU, and AFSCME. First Friday actions also took place in Chicago, New York City, Dayton, Ohio, Portland, Oregon and other cities where there are JWJ chapters.

First Friday actions correspond monthly with the release of the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics latest unemployment data. Despite the slight dip in unemployment nationally, First Friday actions serve as a reminder that a jobs deficit still exists and the unemployed still need a safety net to help them survive these tough economic times.

Rep. John Conyers (D-14th District) spoke to the crowd, emphasizing the need for a federal jobs program like the one he is sponsoring in Congress. Detroit Councilwoman Brenda Jones, a CWA member, echoed Detroiters' desperate needs for jobs. OPEIU member and JWJ activist, Maria Catalfio, gave a first-hand account of her bus trip to Wisconsin where she and other OPEIU members joined the massive protests against the proposed union-busting bill submitted by Republican governor, Scott Walker.

The next First Friday action will actually be held on Monday, April 4, in order to help build a rally at the Detroit Federal Building, Cass and Michigan, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., that has been called by the Communications Workers union (CWA) and the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO to support all public employees.

Cynthia Peele is a freelance writer living and working in Detroit, Michigan. 

She also serves as SEM-JWJ Public Relations Director.