Employee Free Choice Resolution

FCDC passed a resolution supporting the Employee Free Choice Resolution, see below the fold for the full language.

Employee Free Choice Resolution

WHEREAS, in 1935, the United States established, by law, that workers must be free to form unions; and,

WHEREAS, the freedom to form or join a union is internationally recognized by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a fundamental human right; and,

WHEREAS, the free choice to join with others and bargain for better wages and benefits is essential to economic opportunity and good living standards; and,

WHEREAS, unions benefit communities by strengthening living standards, stabilizing tax bases, promoting equal treatment and enhancing civic participation; and,

WHEREAS, states in which more people are union members are states with higher wages, better benefits and better schools; and,

WHEREAS, union workers receive better wages and benefits, with union workers earning 29 percent more than workers without a union, 35 percent more likely to have access to health insurance, and are four times more likely to have access to a guaranteed defined benefit pension; and,

WHEREAS, unions help raise workers’ pay and narrow the income gap for minorities and women, by increasing median weekly earnings by 31 percent for union women workers, 31 percent for African-American workers, 50 percent for Latino workers, 9 percent for Asian American workers; and,

WHEREAS, workers across the nation are routinely denied the freedom to form unions and bargain for a better life, with 25 percent of private-sector employers illegally firing at least one worker for union activity during organizing campaigns; and,

WHEREAS, 77 percent of the public believes it is important to have strong laws protecting the freedom for workers to make their own decision about having a union, and 58 percent of workers would join a union if they had the chance; and,

WHEREAS, employers often refuse to bargain fairly with workers after forming a union by dragging out first contract bargaining for up to two years in 45 percent of successful campaigns; and,

WHEREAS, each year millions of dollars are spent to frustrate workers’ efforts to form unions, and most violations of workers’ freedom to choose a union occur behind closed doors, with 78 percent of employers forcing employees to attend mandatory anti-union meetings; and,

WHEREAS, when the right of workers to form a union is violated, wages fall, race and gender pay gaps widen, workplace discrimination increases and job safety standards disappear; and,

WHEREAS, a worker’s fundamental right to choose a union free from coercion and intimidation is a public issue that requires public policy solutions, including legislative remedies; and,

WHEREAS, the Employee Free Choice Act has been introduced in the U.S. Congress in order to restore workers’ freedom to join a union; and,

WHEREAS, The Employee Free Choice Act will safeguard workers’ ability to make their own decisions with these abuses, provide for first contract mediation and arbitration, and establish meaningful penalties when employers violate workers’ rights; and,

RESOLVED that the Fairfax County Democratic Committee supports the Employee Free Choice Act, which would authorize the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union as the bargaining representation when a majority of employees voluntarily  sign authorizations designating that union to represent them; provide for first contract mediation and arbitration; and establish meaningful penalties for violations of a worker’s freedom to choose a union; and, be it,

FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to protect and preserve for America’s workers their freedom to choose for themselves whether or not to form a union.