Watch U.

S. Rep. George Miller's speech on the House floor prior to the final vote on the bill below (Miller, D-Calif., is the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee):

Thursday, March 01, 2007 -- UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said Thursday’s passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) by the House of Representatives was a major step forward in protecting workers’ rights.

The House passed the EFCA on a vote of 241-185, with several Republicans joining the overwhelming majority of Democrats who supported the measure.
“For too long, workers who want a union have been denied that basic right because the laws are tilted in favor of employers,” Gettelfinger said. “EFCA will go a long way toward promoting democracy in the workplace and giving workers a choice about the right to bargain for a better standard of living.”

The bill would require employers to recognize unions when a simple majority of workers indicate they want a union. Employers have taken advantage of the current lengthy and cumbersome National Labor Relations Board election process to thwart union drives.

The EFCA stiffens penalties for employers who violate labor laws, and would also mandate binding arbitration in first-contract negotiations when those talks fail to reach agreement. Many employers refuse to bargain in good faith when an organizing drive succeeds.

“America needs this legislation so workers who want the right to bargain do not have to face intimidation and harassment by their employers,” Gettelfinger said. “We encourage all UAW members to contact their senators and urge swift passage of this critically important legislation.”

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