7:25 PM Eastern - Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What's in a name? The Employee Free Choice Act

Under the Employee Free Choice Act, workers' freedom to choose to form a union would be restored.

But many reporters, lawmakers, and pundits continue to call the legislation "card check"--missing the fundamental democratic principles of the legislation: that when a majority of workers choose to form a union to improve their jobs and support their families, they should be able to do so without fear of employer harassment and intimidation.

Whether in email, on the phone, or with friends, remembering to refer to the legislation as the Employee Free Choice Act helps reinforce the idea that workers, not corporations, should be the ones who decide how to form a union.

Under current law, employers can insist that workers hold an election, even after a majority have signed cards supporting the union. More than 94 percent of companies then launch campaigns against the workers. Companies force workers into intimidating one-on-one sessions with their supervisors and 25 percent even fire union supporters (University of Illinois at Chicago).

That's the way Corporate America wants to keep it.

While they are spending millions on ads that feign concern over protecting workers' right to a secret ballot the truth is that they simply want to deny workers the choice to form a union to keep wages down and control for themselves. Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott said it best when he remarked, "We like driving the car and we're not going to give the steering wheel to anyone but us."

The fact is that the Employee Free Choice Act does nothing to take away a workers right to a secret ballot election. If the workers want to hold an election, they would still have that right. The Employee Free Choice Act simply puts the decision in the hands of workers, not big corporations.

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