Debating the Employee Free Choice Act

02/17/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday) | Listen to this entire show:

There’s a battle looming in Congress between organized labor and big business- it’s over the proposed Employee Free Choice Act. The bill was passed by the House back in 2007- but it’s been filibustered in the Senate since 2007.

President Barack Obama says he supports EFCA. Labor unions say it would make it easier for employees to form unions. They say that over the past 30 years the balance of power has shifted and that companies have gained too much power to fight union organizing drives.

On the other side- business groups say the Employee Free Choice Act will take away the secret ballot and let union organizers intimidate workers into joining unions.

We’re joined now by Mark Wilson, president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Janet Conner, Florida director for the AFL-CIO, to debate the proposed law.

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Chamber Lies

The Chamber of Commerce spreads lies about trade unions. My late brother was a "union buster" for the textile industry and I learned first hand how far industry and their lobbyists (like the Chamber) were willing to go in order to "kill" unions in the U.S. Beginning in the early 20th century business leaders used lies and even violence to cripple the movement. Ronald Reagan, a longtime union member and official, betrayed union workers and directed the power of the federal government against unions of every sort. Yes, some unions have done bad things (just like our government) but their net bottom line is a positive contribution to society.

Free choice act.

I have friends who work for companies here in florida and they were forced to sign papers that stated they would not join a union, or they could be fired. Who would protect these people since florida is essentially a "will at work state"? Also educating americans is no use since companies such as nielson media are importing labor from india to do the job here in america . Any comments on who if not a union will represent the workers. Essentially companies will do the job for as cheap as possible, and unions essentially go to the other extreme, there has to be some balance. Thank you, Joe in Clearwater

Employee Free Choice Act

Dear WMNF Thank you for having Janet Conner on to explain the details of the Employee Free Choice Act on Tuesday. I believe It is important for listeners to understand just what the Employee Free Choice Act is and how it benefits every working person. I would like to stress the point that workers who organize under a collective bargaining agreement are not the only ones who benefit from Unions. I can not think of a larger, more active and effective advocacy group for all working families than Unions. If the unions were to go away, as your guest Mark Wilson seems to want, then what other organization would lobby, be watchdogs for, and fight for-- the rights of all working people? This current financial downturn has me reminding people that Corporations were made by mankind to serve mankind, not the other way around. I think Americans have let that concept get away from them over the last 30 years. Its time to give the power back to the people, were it belongs in a Democracy. Thanks, Jason Smith New Port Richey FL Proud Member of IBEW local 824