Congress Introduces Employee Free Choice Act
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
“The introduction of the Employee Free Choice Act today in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate is a crucial first step to rebuilding our once strong middle class. The Employee Free Choice Act holds the promise of lifting the standard of living for all working families and ushering in a new era of economic equality.
“With the California economy deep in crisis, this legislation couldn’t have come at a better time. Staggering job loss combined with a decades-long stagnation of wages has led to a vicious downward spiral for California’s economy and workers. More than ever, working people want and need the ability to bargain with their employers for a better way of life. By placing the free choice to form and join unions back in the hands of workers, the Employee Free Choice Act will play a vital role in California’s long-term economic recovery.
“While today’s introduction is an important milestone for California’s working families, it’s just the beginning of what promises to be a tough battle. Deep-pocketed corporate interests have vowed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act in a misguided effort to cling to the failed economic status quo.
“In the end, we’re confident that working people will prevail. No amount of money spent by corporate lobbyists can match the grassroots energy and enthusiasm that America’s workers will devote to restoring an economy that works for everyone.
“We thank the bills authors, California Congressman George Miller and US Senators Tom Harkin and Ted Kennedy, for once again championing the interests of working families. Special thanks also to Sen. Barbara Boxer and every member of the California Congressional Delegation for co-sponsoring this measure. California’s workers strongly urge Sen. Dianne Feinstein to fully support the Employee Free Choice Act as she has in the past and, along with Sen. Boxer, play a leadership role in moving it to the desk of President Obama as soon as possible.”