Thursday, April 30, 2009

in Good Dog over hearing conversations...Specter + EFCA-rama!

New Hope for EFCA

Bill Samuels; one of the AFL-CIO;s chief lobbyists on the Employee Free Choice Act as well as VP Biden have made statements that indicate that the Specter switch may favorably effect a vote on EFCA. Given that, there is a sense that the legislation must be moved soon...

“In his mind, he wants fundamental labor law reform,” Samuel said. “He wants things to improve for workers. As a Democrat, he could get a lot closer than as a Republican.”

PS pardon the bad punctuation. I am using a keyboard set up for French and it a mess to use.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Specter Surprise!

It is unclear what this means for the future of the Employee Free Choice Act but my instinct tells me that our chances just improved vastly...

Specter To Switch Parties

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.

Specter's decision would give Democrats a 60 seat filibuster proof majority in the Senate assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn in as the next Senator from Minnesota. (Former Sen. Norm Coleman is appealing Franken's victory in the state Supreme Court.)

Anti-EFCA rally in Harrisburg, Stonewall Democrats Endorse Card-Check

Mitt Romney's front group, the Workplace Fairness Institute, organized an anti-Employee Free Choice Act Rally in Harrisburg yesterday. The reports did not mention how many people were in attendance nor how many of the attendees were actually working people, but it did say that the leaders from the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce were there. Romney is trotting out the false idea that the Employee Free Choice Act would "impose on the workers of America a process that would remove from them the most fundamental right, the right to vote by a secret ballot."

Under the Employee Free Choice Act workers would still have the ability to call of National Labor Relations Board election but they could also choose majority sign-up as a means of getting organized. More importantly, the employer would no longer be the one who decides whether workers will be voluntarily recognized or a union or if the have to go through an election, the workers would be able to decide.

The San Diego Stonewall Democrats endorsed the Employee Free Choice Act following the new lead of the new Shared Agenda project.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Synergistic Health Supports EFCA

The Employee Free Choice Act has gained the support of Synergistic Healthcare, a nonunion employer with offices in King of Prussia, San Diego, and Linwood, N.J. Working with the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, Synergistic is recruiting other employers into becoming advocates for the legislation known as “card check,”

Labor Has Another Card to Play?

Many have said that the Employee Free Choice Act was dead in the water after PA Senator Arlen Specter reversed his position of supporting a debate about the bill to one of vowing to obstruct the law by supporting a Republican filibuster.

Now, it appears that Specter is looking at loosing the Republican primaries unless he re-reconsiders the issue and gets some union support.

Meanwhile, there are some indications that the labor movement might have some other plans that don't include the support of Senator Specter...

A crowd of workers, labor leaders and community activists launched the most determined lobbying effort yet for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act at an April 22 Washington press conference.

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker stood in front of a crowded hall where she announced that labor will get 60 U.S. senators to shut off a planned GOP-led filibuster against the bill. Standing with her were noted author Barbara Ehrenreich, Jobs with Justice Director Sarita Gupta and President of the National Organization of Women Kim Gandy.

The Status Quo: Employers Have Free Reign to Intimidate

Employee Free Choice Act opponents make the claim that letting workers join or form a union through the process of majority sign-up campaigns rather than a National Labor Board Election would disenfranchise workers. Business leaders claim that this would lead to worker intimidation by union organizers. What they don't tell you is that in the current reality, 85% of employers will wage a anti-union campaigns when a union drive is discovered. These campaigns are nothing more than campaigns, often with the implied threat of job loss, to frighten workers into not using their rights in the work place. An anti-union campaign is the bosses effort to convince a group of workers that they are better off letting the employer make all the decisions about the professional fate and work place welfare for the employee. This much is implied in the Biz Press, a S. Cal business interest paper...

Bobby Spiegel, president and CEO of the Corona Chamber of Commerce, said,..."We feel the measure would actually cause less choice for employees and lead to more intimidation by labor unions," ...

Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita and senior minority member of the House Education and Labor Committee, described card check as "unfair to workers," according to a committee spokeswoman.

The congressman was concerned that removing the secret ballot could lead to intimidation by both sides..."

Ok, lets not have more intimidation, lets have less intimidation. Or how about this, lets try no intimidation. My boss is not allowed to talk to me about who he thinks I should vote for in a Presidential election while I am on the job because it might be intimidating. Why are employers allowed to advise me that I should waive my right to collective bargaining while I am on the clock, at mandatory meetings? There already is intimidation and almost all of it comes from the boss.

Philly JwJ Calendar 04/27/2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

getting ready for my EFCA speech @ Mt. Airy Presbyterian

Thursday, April 23, 2009

calendar trail

Employee Free Choice Act will help Museum Guards

The AlliedBarton Security Guards at the Philadelphia Museum of Art are tired of earning poverty wages. They are tired of being mistreated. They are tired of the disrespect. The Museum of Art looks so poorly upon these workers that they have decided to pay them 40% less than what city ordinances demand that they pay.

For these reasons, these workers have decided to form a union. A majority of the guards at the museum have signed a union representation card with the Philadelphia Security Officers Union.

Despite this, they know that the chances of being able to actually exercise their rights to collective bargaining at are supposedly guaranteed is virtually impossible. Labor law is broken. If the Employee Free Choice Act were in effected today, these workers would have a union and would be negotiating how they would be dividing up the more than $1 million in new income between better benefits and wage increases.

This situation is highlighted in a great web article, Labor Limbo, written by Dan Denvir in this months In These Times magazine.

If EFCA were made law, “card check” alone would be sufficient—and museum guards like Alethia Hanible might already be negotiating with AlliedBarton. Hanible, who has worked at the museum for two years, says she and other security guards—85 percent of whom are African-American—receive only one sick day per year of employment and are not allowed to speak to visitors. Hanible, who says AlliedBarton has made arbitrary decisions and played favorites with guards, must refer any visitor with questions to the museum’s front desk.

Save Northeastern Hospital

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My EFCA interview in Praktijkblad Ondernemingsraad

Praktijkblad Ondernemingsraad is a magazine in the Netherlands that covers work councils, organizations that are similar to labor unions...

Old Stimulus Report

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

EFCA slipping away?

As members of Congress returned home for their two-week recess, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) today wasted no time in delivering a major blow to the fading hopes of the Employee Free Choice Act.