A new survey released today shows 78 percent of those polled want to see legislation that protects workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain for a better life—great news and a strong signal to Congress and President-elect Barack Obama that we need to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.
For many, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is the most important legislative initiative of the present period. It is supported by President-elect Obama. As the President-elect said
"The majority of workers want a union. They should get a union. It is that simple."
"In this country we believe that if the majority of workers in a company want a union, they should get a union. That's not complicated. That's the right thing to do.
As Seth Michaels reported:
The survey of 1,007 adults across the country, conducted Dec. 4-10 for the AFL-CIO by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, shows a striking level of support for the provisions of the Employee Free Choice Act and the freedom to form unions. This support crosses party and state lines, with 74 percent of those who identify as moderate or liberal Republicans in favor; conservative Republicans were the only group not expressing majority support. Support remains steady, even when those surveyed heard messages from both supporters and opponents of the bill.
Here are some key findings:
75 percent of those surveyed support recognizing a union when a majority of workers have signed up in support.
64 percent support strengthening penalties against companies who illegally intimidate or fire workers who are trying to form a union.
61 percent favor binding arbitration if a company will not agree to a first contract. (This provision had the highest number of respondents who weren’t sure how they felt about it.)
These survey results are consistent with a survey done last fall by American Rights at Work showing strong support for the Employee Free Choice Act and the freedom to form unions.
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said the findings send a strong message on behalf of workers’ freedom to bargain and the importance of bargaining rights to a stronger economy.
In today’s economic squeeze, workers need the freedom to bargain their way into the middle class more than ever. This new research confirms that the vast majority of Americans support workers’ freedom to form unions to improve their lives and support the Employee Free Choice Act, which is key to making our economy work for everyone.
Politicians, pundits and the press should listen up: America’s working families understand that a stronger economy and a thriving middle class depend upon restoring workers’ freedom to bargain for a better life. They’re not buying into anti-worker disinformation campaigns. It’s time to listen to that message and pass the Employee Free Choice Act.