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Mar 08, 2009

Biden to AFL-CIO: Employee Free Choice Act Key to Rebuilding Middle Class

by James Parks, Mar 5, 2009

Photo credit: Charlotte Southern  
  Vice President Joe Biden met with the AFL-CIO Executive Council today in Miami, where he reiterated the administration’s support for the Employee Free Choice Act, saying, “If a union is what you want, a union you’re entitled to have.”  
 
 

Vice President Joe Biden told the AFL-CIO Executive Council today that returning our economy to health means restoring the basic right to join a union and bargain collectively. And the way to do that is by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.

He quoted President Obama saying: ‘”I don’t buy the argument that providing workers with collective bargaining rights somehow weakens the economy or worsens the business environment.”

If you’ve got workers who have a decent pay and benefits, they also are customers for your business. So let me add to that and say that I have a simple, basic belief, one that we’re going to work hard to put into action:  If a union is what you want, a union you’re entitled to have.

The vice president quoted AFL-CIO President John Sweeney’s recent remarks in his column expressing basic truths that should guide the AFL-CIO in 2009:

We can’t fix the economy by hurting workers. Rescuing the economy will require investments in jobs, infrastructure, health care. When you’re in a deep hole, you need a long ladder. Rebuilding our broken economy gives us the opportunity to get it right and reward workers. Progressive, pro-family, pro-worker candidates won. So isn’t it time that we have progressive, pro-worker, pro-family priorities that win, too?

Click here to read the entire Sweeney column.

Biden, who heads the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, told the council the Obama administration is dedicated to rebuilding the nation’s middle class.

You can’t have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement. We will judge the success or failure of our administration at the end of our four years, based on whether or not the standard of living of the middle class has increased or not. That’s the bottom-line measure. And guess what. Neither one of us believes it can get better without you getting stronger.

The people Teddy Roosevelt used to call the “doers of deeds”—the people who teach our children, protect our neighborhoods, protect our homes. The people who staff our hospitals, who work on the line—on the lines that a few are working on these days. The people who are our nation’s heart and soul, and I would add, our nation’s spine. They are the spine of the nation. 

For too long, Biden said, we’ve failed to have a White House that puts families front and center in our economic policies. That’s why the Obama economic recovery program focuses on jobs, he said, and the administration is pushing for real health care reform. He also said the Obama-Biden team would never have won without the support of working families.

Biden’s visit to the Executive Council follows a two-day visit from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who participated in a town hall forum on Sunday and met with the union leaders Monday.


Mar 09, 2008

Jun 18, 2007
 
Join the Virtual Rally
The U.S. Senate will debate and vote on the Employee Free Choice Act this week.
As the vote approaches, working families from across the country are rallying in support of strengthening the middle class.
Let your senators know they should vote “Yes” by joining the virtual rally for the Employee Free Choice Act.
On June 19, thousands of working men and women will rally in more than 70 cities throughout America—they will be showing their support for the Employee Free Choice Act.
The U.S. Senate is set to vote on the bill as early as June 20.
Join the virtual rally for the Employee Free Choice Act—your senators will know you’re taking part. Help make the final push we need to get this important law passed.
All the e-mail messages, faxes and calls to senators were all meant to build to this one moment.
With your help, we have reached our goal of collecting 1,000 signed cards of support for the Employee Free Choice Act.
At the rally at the Senate on June 19, we will deliver these cards to senators.
We wish you could all be there in person.
But you can do the next best thing. Join the virtual rally, and let your senators know you stand in solidarity with the other working men and women from across the country in support of the Employee Free Choice Act.

http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/EFCA_senate_virtual_rally
The Senate vote on the Employee Free Choice Act is the next step in strengthening the middle class. Let’s keep the momentum going. With your help, we can pass the most important change to labor law in 70 years.

In solidarity,
Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO
P.S. Learn more about the Employee Free Choice Act and see videos of workers like Ivo Camilo, Nikkia Parish and Bill Lawhorn at the AFL-CIO’s Employee Free Choice Act website: http://www.aflcio.org/joinaunion/voiceatwork/efca
 
 

 
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