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Slide 1 - APWU


									William Burrus

Terry R. Stapleton

April 2009
Every Worker Deserves
The Freedom to Bargain

The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)
is the most important labor legislation in decades.

 It would help level the playing field
  for workers who want to form unions.

 The Employee Free Choice Act will help us
  build an economy that works for everyone.

Every Worker Deserves
The Freedom to Bargain

For more than a century, the
standard of living of the middle
class has paralleled the rise and
fall in union membership.

                         In recent decades, employers
                         have made it much harder for
                         workers to unionize – and the
                         middle class has suffered.

Every Worker Deserves
The Freedom to Bargain

“Corporate greed has distorted our economy.
We need a counterweight. Working people
can be that balance when they're united in unions.”

                         John Sweeney
                         AFL-CIO President

Every Worker Deserves
The Freedom to Bargain

Union workers:
    Earn 28% more than
     those who don’t have unions;
    Are 52% more likely to have healthcare benefits;
    Are 3 times as likely to have pensions.

America needs the Employee Free Choice Act.

Every Worker Deserves
The Freedom to Bargain

“Supporting the freedom to bargain
is an act of solidarity with workers
who are less fortunate that we are.

“It will also help us preserve good postal jobs.”

                                William Burrus
                                APWU President

It Won’t Be Easy

But passing the Employee Free Choice Act
won’t be easy.

The House of Representatives is expected to pass
EFCA (H.R. 1409) by a wide margin.

The challenge will be in the Senate, where we will
need 60 votes to overcome an expected “filibuster.”

(As of now, 39 senators have co-sponsored S. 560.)

It Won’t Be Easy

Stopping EFCA is the top priority for big business
and its anti-labor allies in Washington DC.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce
has dedicated $200 million to fund
an ad campaign to defeat EFCA.

And they are putting severe
pressure on senators to vote “no.”

We must encourage our senators to vote “yes.”
The Employee Free Choice Act

The EFCA has three major components. It will:

 Require employers to recognize unions
  when a majority of workers indicate they want one;

 Encourage employers to
  bargain in good faith;

 Stiffen penalties against
  employers who retaliate against union supporters.
The Employee Free Choice Act

The Employee Free Choice Act
would let workers decide
whether they want to form a union by:

 Signing union cards, or
 Holding secret-ballot elections.

Under current law,
management decides which method will be used.

The Employee Free Choice Act

Why wouldn’t workers choose
a secret-ballot election?

The law currently dictates that workers can request
an election for union representation once they have
collected signatures “showing interest” from 30
percent of the workforce.

The Employee Free Choice Act

That’s when the mischief begins.

Employers almost always demand
secret-ballot elections, and then use the delay
to threaten, coerce, and intimidate the workers.

The Employee Free Choice Act

Company Tactics:

 92% force employees to attend meetings
  where they bad-mouth unions.

 75% hire union-busting

 51% threaten to close if workers form a union.

 25% illegally fire at least one union supporter.
The Employee Free Choice Act

Under the proposed law, when more than
50% of workers have signed union cards,
the National Labor Relations Board
and the employer must recognize the union.

This feature is called
“majority sign-up.”

Fact vs. Fiction

Big Business is attacking the bill with the ‘Big Lie.’

(The “big lie” is a propaganda technique
that suggests if you repeat a falsehood often enough,
people will believe it).

Big Business says the Employee Free Choice Act
will eliminate secret-ballot elections.

Fact vs. Fiction

Under the Employee Free Choice Act,
workers can choose a secret-ballot election.

                       The legislation
                       puts the choice about
                       how to form a union in
                       the workers' hands.

That’s what all the controversy is about.
Stiffer Penalties

In the meantime, illegal activities by employers –
such as firing union supporters – have become

 The penalties for these
 infractions are so minor
 that employers consider
 them just another
 “cost of doing business.”

Stiffer Penalties

Tougher penalties will provide better protection
for workers’ rights.

The EFCA would:
 Fine companies up to $20,000 for each violation;

 Force employers to pay triple back wages to
  illegally fired workers;

 Require the NLRB to take companies to court when
  they violate the law.
Negotiating a First Contract

The Employee Free Choice Act would encourage
employers to bargain in “good faith” by establishing
a procedure for negotiating a first contract.

Negotiating a First Contract

The bill provides:
 90 days to negotiate a contract.

If that fails,
 30 days for mediation.

 Mandatory binding arbitration
  for a minimum two-year contract.

EFCA and the APWU

The Employee Free Choice Act would
give workers who want to form unions
a fair opportunity to do so.

  It is also essential
  for preserving
  good postal jobs,
  wages, and benefits.

EFCA and the APWU

A large pool of non-unionized workers
allows employers to keep wages low –
even for members of unions.

EFCA and the APWU

Among the “unorganized” workers are:

                       Truck Drivers
                       Custodians
                       Mail Processors
                       Parcel Sorters
                       Retail Clerks

Many work for private contractors
and perform duties similar to APWU members.

EFCA and the APWU

The passage of the Employee Free Choice Act
will affect postal workers in two ways:

 Pay Comparability
 Contracting Out Postal Work

EFCA and the APWU

According to federal law, postal wages
are based on a standard of “pay comparability.”

That means postal wages should be close to
the pay of workers who perform similar work
in the private sector.

When the wages of workers performing similar
duties are low, postal workers have a tough time
winning pay increases.

EFCA and the APWU

Many workers who perform work similar to ours
make far less than we do because they don’t have a
union to bargain for better wages and benefits.

EFCA and the APWU

In a bad economy, and with millions of unorganized
workers, the USPS is expected to seek wage and
benefit concessions.

Our COLAs, our healthcare benefits, and our job
security are at risk.

Supporting the Employee Free Choice Act will help us
protect our wages and benefits.

EFCA and the APWU

The Employee Free Choice Act also
would reduce the incentive for contracting out.

  After all, employers
  subcontract work
  because they believe
  the contractors’
  lower wages
  will save them money.

EFCA and the APWU

The Employee Free Choice Act would:

 Level the playing fields
  for workers who want
  to form unions;

 Strengthen the middle class;

 Protect good postal jobs.

Time for Action

Now is the time for action.

Local union activists
must help spread the word
about the importance
of passing the
Employee Free Choice Act.

Time for Action

To win support for the Employee Free Choice Act,
locals can:

 Donate funds to the AFL-CIO’s Turn Around America
  media campaign;

                   Contact your senators and ask
                    them to support the
                    Employee Free Choice Act;

                   Write letters; make phone calls,
                    and send e-mails at meetings.
Time for Action

“It’s time our economy worked
for everyone again.
“It’s time to pass
the Employee
Free Choice Act.”

Turn America Around Fund

Please make checks payable to: AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer

In the memo line, note: Turn Around America Fund

Mail checks to:
          Office of the Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO
          815 16th Street NW
          Washington DC 20006

Be sure to notify the APWU Secretary-Treasurer’s office of
your contribution, so your local can get the recognition you
The Turn Around America Fund accepts donations only from labor organizations and from
individuals on their own behalf.

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