Wednesday, June 27, 2007

EFCA Statement

Statement by Leo W. Gerard, USW President


Pittsburgh – United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo W. Gerard said Monday’s procedural vote in the U.S. Senate on the Employee Free Choice Act demonstrates that, while the Republican leadership still has a chokehold on legislation that would benefit 60 million working men, women and their families, the promise of the bill’s passage by a new administration is well within reach.

The 51-48 Senate vote to move forward on the Employee Free Choice Act showed Democrats unanimously sided with workers, but fell short of the 60 vote threshold needed to end debate and proceed to a vote on final passage of the legislation.

“The support for Employee Free Choice by the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate offers real hope that soon workers will once again have a voice in deciding how they choose to organize as a union without being intimidated by their employer,” Gerard said.

“The unanimous support by the Senate Democrats points the way toward overcoming the obstruction by big business and the Republicans who seek to deny American workers their basic right to have a greater say in their lives through collective bargaining.

“The Employee Free Choice Act will remain an issue working families and their communities will continue to work until we achieve a Democratic Majority in the U.S. Senate and elect a new president in 2008,” he added.

How Did Your Senator Vote?

The EFCA vote in the Senate was 51 Right and 48 Wrong with Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) not voting as he is still out with a grave illness. All Democrats voted Right. All Republicans, EXCEPT Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Spector, voted wrong.

Source - Fight Back America - United Steelworkers AFL-CIO.CLC

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

EFCA Wins Majority Vote in Senate!

But votes short of 60 needed to cut off filibuster

Today, all workers in the U.S. should celebrate another victory on the road to meaningful labor law reform. After passing the House of Representatives in March, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) came up for consideration in the Senate. While a majority (51) of Senators voted for it, that was short of the 60 needed to stop the GOP filibuster. While short of the super majority needed in the Senate, it clearly sends the message that we are closer to the day when workers will have a true and fair choice on whether or not to form a union in their workplace.

Despite millions of dollars spent by anti-union lobbyists and corporations, the majority of U.S. Senators, under unrelenting pressure from Rapid Response and many others in the labor movement, stood up for workers and voted yes on the EFCA. And we proved that we now have the majority and that we will not stop until the EFCA is signed into law.

Through President Bush promised to veto the bill, we must fight to make sure the next President actively fights to get the EFCA passed through congress and signed into law.

How Did Your Senators Vote?

The EFCA vote in the Senate was 51 Right and 48 Wrong with 1 Senator not voting (Sen. Tim Johnson – D-SD who has been very ill.)

All Democrats Voted Right

All Republicans Voted Wrong Except Sen. Arlen Specter ( R-PA)

(Though Specter came under extreme pressure from within his party to vote against the EFCA he stood up to vote the right way for workers.)

Congratulations to each of you for your Rapid Response work to get us to this point! The fight is not over, but it is clear that labor law reform is on the horizon!

Source: USW Rapid Response

Thursday, June 21, 2007

EFCA Vote Finally Comes

We celebrated a major victory on March 1, 2007 when the House of Representatives stood with us to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). The vote was a solid win at 241-185. The Senate is expected to vote on the fate of the EFCA early next week, likely on Monday.

The legislation is now being debated in the Senate, where opponents are working overtime to stop the bill. Monday's vote will be on "cloture," which would end debate and allow for a true vote on the actual EFCA bill. If the cloture vote fails, it essentially kills the bill. Making things even more complicated, we need 60 members of the Senate to vote yes on cloture on Monday!

Every Senator supporting the Employee Free Choice Act must be there to vote. The level of support for the bill in the Senate is not as strong as the House. We need all supporters to be present and VOTE!

Make a last minute toll-free call to your Senators today.

Tell them to make sure to VOTE YES on the Employee Free Choice Act!

Dial: 1-866-340-9279 - United Steelworkers AFL-CIO.CLC

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Call Your Senator Today

Call Your Senator Today

On Thursday, June 21, the Senate will vote on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

Please call your Senators NOW and ask them to vote YES on the Employee Free Choice Act (S.1041)

Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 1-800-774-8941 and ask for the offices of your two senators.

EFCA will restore workers’ freedom to collectively bargain for a better life. Explain to your senators that by voting Yes on EFCA it will:

  • strengthen penalties for companies that coerce or intimidate employees;
  • establish mediation and binding arbitration when the employer and workers cannot agree on a first contract; and
  • enable employees to form unions when a majority express their decision to join the union by signing authorization cards.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Let's Protect Workers

Protecting Dogs and Cats and Workers

In the year 2000, a major clothing company began importing coats made with the fur of dogs and cats for sale in the U.S. marketplace. When the public found out this was happening, they understandably went ballistic. They demanded justice. Congress immediately went to work and developed legislation that stated you cannot exploit dogs and cats in this way and expect to sell your products in our country. This bill called the Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 sailed through Congress and was quickly signed into law. (View this bill and see how your legislators voted here:

Rapid Response is now calling on Congress to offer the same protections to children and other abused workers across the globe that they have afforded dogs and cats.

A number of legislators have joined the fight. We have joined together to fight for passage of the “Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act,” also known as “The Anti-Sweatshop Bill.” We began fighting for this bill late last year and by the end of the last Congress, there were 61 sponsors or cosponsors in the House and six in the Senate thanks to the work of Rapid Response Teams across the country. The bill has now been introduced once again in the new 110th Congress (HR 1992 and S 367), and we are continuing the battle.

The Anti-Sweatshop Bill:

  • Bans goods made by children from entering our country
  • Bans sweatshop goods from entering our country
  • Creates an incentive for businesses abroad to clean up their act
  • Is based off established law: Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000
  • Allows shareholders and competitors to file suit in federal court for enforcement

Rapid Response is gearing up for a major national action on HR 1992 and S 367. It is time we took the offensive to demand justice in the global economy, and this is our opportunity. Be ready in the coming days to join this fight for fairness.

USW Rapid Response (412) 562-2291