Vision and Mission……………………………………………………3 What is the Employee Free Choice Act?.......................................................

4-5 Six Things You Can Do To Win the Employee Free Choice Act…………........6 Fact Sheet on the Employee Free Choice Act…………………………...7-8 Sample Letter to the Editor………………………………..………..9-10 Letter of Support…………………………………………………11-12 Organizational Endorsement…...……………………………………..13 Union Glossary…………………………………………………...14-15

Vision Statement In the spirit of ‚An Injury to One is An Injury to All‛, we are coming together to take a stand with the millions of working people in support of the Employee Free Choice Act. Mission Statement Working with Jobs with Justice and SLAP we have identified the next 4 months as a crucial window in time to fight for structural and systemic change as it pertains to labor law and the rights of worker’s to bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. It is for that reason that we are calling on our brothers and sisters, friends and co-workers, neighbors and schoolmates, to stand with us in the fight for the Employee Free Choice Act which would be a game changer for working people across the country in their efforts to seek union representation. SLAP is a national network of youth and student organizations across the country standing up for worker’s rights. We work with a diverse array of student and youth organizations tackling different economic injustices in distinct communities, all the while continuously searching for connections between local and national campaigns. As a network we place our biggest emphasis on creating local change and sharing the lessons learned from those campaigns with other students interested in similar social change.

The Employee Free Choice Act was introduced on Nov. 21, 2003, by U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy (S. 1925) and U.S. Rep. George Miller (H.R. 3619).
 Certification on the Basis of Signed Authorizations - EFCA would provide for certification of a union as the bargaining representative if the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finds that a majority of employees in an appropriate unit has signed authorizations designating the union as its bargaining representative. The proposed act would require the board to develop model authorization language and procedures for establishing the authenticity of signed authorizations.  First-Contract Mediation and Arbitration - EFCA would provide that if an employer and a union are engaged in bargaining for their first contract and are unable to reach agreement within 90 days, either party may refer the dispute to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) for mediation. If the FMCS has been unable to bring the parties to agreement after 30 days of mediation, the dispute will be referred to arbitration and the results of the arbitration shall be binding on the parties for two years. Time limits may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties.  Stronger Employer Penalties - EFCA would make the following new provisions applicable to violations of the National Labor Relations Act committed by employers against employees during any period in which employees are attempting to organize a union or negotiate a first contract with the employer:  Mandatory Applications for Injunctions - EFCA would provide that just as the NLRB is required to seek a federal court injunction against a union whenever there is reasonable cause to believe the union has violated the secondary boycott prohibitions in the act, the NLRB must seek a federal court injunction against an employer whenever there is reasonable cause to believe the employer has discharged, discriminated against employees, threatened to discharge or discriminate against employees or engaged in conduct that interferes significantly with employee rights during an organizing or first-contract drive. EFCA would authorize the courts to grant temporary restraining orders or other

appropriate injunctive relief.  Treble Back Pay - EFCA would increase the amount an employer is required to pay when an employee is discharged or discriminated against during an organizing campaign or first-contract drive to three times back pay.  Civil Penalties - EFCA would provide for civil fines of up to $20,000 per violation against employers found to have willfully or repeatedly violated employees’ rights during an organizing campaign or first-contract drive.

1. Get petitions signed supporting the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. These cards can allow you to grow your list of activists and supporters. We encourage you to add the signers of your cards to your data bases for those who support workers’ rights and to follow up with them by letting them know what else they can do in your community to support workers’ rights, giving them updates on local, national and international workers’ struggles. 2. Pass a resolution supporting living wages, the right to organize, bargain collectively and the Employee Free Choice Act for all workers. 3. Contact the local Jobs with Justice Coalition or Central Labor Council in your area to find out what you can do to support workers in your community. 4. Organize educational events such as presentations, work shops, or teachins, or educational segments in your regular meetings informing your members of the plight of workers in the U.S and the Employee Free Choice Act. 5. As you conduct lobby visits to your state and federal legislators educate them on the plight of workers in your community and encourage them to support the Employee Free Choice Act. 6. Get your chapter to sign on to the EFCA support letter and ask partner organizations and community organizations in your area to sign the EFCA support letter

Fact – More than half of American workers, 60 million, say they would join a union right now if they could.
The Employee Free Choice Act is a legislation that would give workers a fair and direct path to form unions through majority sign-up, help employees secure a contract with their employer in a reasonable period of time, and simultaneously toughen penalties against employers who violate their workers' rights.

Fact - High-school educated workers aged 25-29 just entering the labor force in 2000 earned about $5,000 less real income that year than similarly aged and educated workers in 1970.
Working people want to form unions. Unionized younger workers were about 17 percentage more likely to have health insurance and about 24 percentage more likely to have a pension than their non-union counterparts. With the Employee Free Choice Act workers will have the opportunity to freely form and join unions, bargain for better pay and benefits, provide for their families with better living standards and shift the power from employers to employees.

Fact - Seventy-five percent of employers hire union-busting consultants during organizing drives to help companies implement both legal and illegal pressure tactics to thwart workers’ rights to unionize.
This tactful mismanagement of workers right cannot and should not be tolerated. Working People must have the freedom to confront their employer about their working condition and the ability bargain for better wages and benefits. The Employee Free Choice Act, which has bipartisan support in Congress, would level the playing field for employees and employers.

The Employee Free Choice Act Would:
Strengthen penalties against employers who break the law. Too many unscrupulous employers get away with breaking labor laws because the current penalties are too weak. The Employee Free Choice Act would increase penalties against employers who illegally fire or retaliate against pro-union workers during an organizing campaign or an effort to obtain a first contract. Allow employers or employees to request mediation if they’re unable to negotiate a first contract. Under current law, anti-union employers often drag workers through lengthy

negotiations by delaying bargaining sessions, withholding relevant information, and putting forth bogus proposals. The Employee Free Choice Act will strengthen workers’ ability to achieve a first contract within a reasonable period of time. The Employee Free Choice Act would allow workers to form a union through ‚majority sign-up.‛ If workers know they want a union, we should have laws that let them have it. The Employee Free Choice Act would require an employer to recognize its employees’ union when a majority has signed union authorization cards.

Fact - On average, unionization raised young workers' wages by 12.4 percent, about $1.75 per hour, compared to non-union young workers with similar characteristics. The whole community benefits when working people form unions. It’s
not a coincidence that as union membership has declined, we’ve seen a shrinking middle class, more low paying jobs, and a huge increase in the number of people without health insurance. The gap between rich and poor has grown wider in the U.S. than in any other industrialized nation. States where many workers are union members have lower poverty rates, better schools, more people with health insurance, and less crime than states where few people are union members. Unions provide a space and a means for workers that are systematically disenfranchised to become empowered and organize against these injustices. The Employee Free Choice Act seeks to empower workers and in turn enfranchise the communities they belong to.

What Can You Do To Help Pass The Employee Free Choice Act?
― Get petitions signed supporting the passage of the Employee Free Choice. ― As you conduct lobby visits to your state and federal legislators educate them on the plight of workers in your community and encourage them to support the Employee Free Choice Act. ― Pass a resolution supporting living wages, the right to organize, bargain collectively and the Employee Free Choice Act for all campus workers. ― Contact the local Jobs with Justice Coalition or Central Labor Council in your area to find out what you can do to support workers in your community. ― Organize educational events such as presentations, workshops, or teach-ins informing students of the plight of workers in the U.S and the Employee Free Choice Act.

For More Info
www.studentlabor.org /www.freechoiceact.org/ www.jwj.org

Fill in the blanks to customize for your local audience. The op-ed should be signed or co-signed by a local union and community or faith-based movement leader.

The true beauty about American history is that there is always a point in time where the disenfranchised break the chains that bind them and master their own ships. That’s what the civil rights movement was about. That’s what the women’s suffragist movement was about. That’s what the Declaration of Independence was about. But there’s a basic freedom that Americans have been historically and are presently being denied day after day. More than half of America’s workers say they would like to join a union but too few will get that chance, because employers routinely and shamefully violate workers’ freedom to form unions. The Human Rights Watch—an internationally recognized organization that monitors basic human rights—has issued a report calling the routine violation of workers’ rights in the United States a fundamental human rights issue. How bad is it? Research shows that even though our laws supposedly guarantee America’s workers the right to choose for themselves whether to have union, employers routinely violate that right. Workers are harassed, intimidated, coerced and even fired, just for exercising, or attempting to exercise, this basic freedom. Some 42 million workers in America say they would form a union tomorrow to improve their jobs, gain health care, ensure job security and have a say in their working conditions. However, employers do just about anything to stop them, including breaking the law. Twenty-five percent of private-sector employers illegally fire workers for supporting a union. More than three-quarters use workers’ own supervisors to pressure workers in one-on-one meetings. A huge segment of non-union workers includes young workers, a segment of the working population ages 18 to 29. This grouping has been the hardest hit by the stagnant wage growth over the last three decades. After adjusting for inflation, the wage of a typical 18 to 29 year-old worker was about 20 percent lower in 2007 than it had been since 1979. The percentage of young workers in unions has fallen from 16 Percent in 1983 (earliest year available) to 8.2 Percent in 2007. This is a huge and problematic decline especially since statistics prove that young workers are about 17 percent more likely to have health insurance and 24 percent more likely to have a pension than their nonunion counterparts. Statistics also prove that young workers that join a union will likely see their wages go up by 12.4 percent-about $1.75 per hour- compared to a non union worker in a similar circumstance. According to Cornell University researcher Kate Bronfenbrenner ninety-two percent of employers force workers to attend meetings against the union in an attempt to

discourage workers from joining unions. Such tactics enable employers to instill fear in workers and furthermore constrain them to their present working condition where an alternative seems impossible. Yet through the introduction of The Employee Free Choice Act (S. 1925, H.R. 3619), sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), another choice, another option, an alternative is possible. The act ensures that when a majority of employees in a workplace will have the ability to decide to form union, employees can do so without the debilitating obstacles employers now use to block workers’ free choice. This transcendental legislation which will balance the power dynamics between corporations and workers will impact all those entering the current workforce. There is a proven link between communities in which most of its citizens are in unions and the reduction of crime and improved school system. Workers in unions help create and foster better communities. This presents an exciting opportunity to strengthen the rights of workers to choose a union freely, and we must obtain firm commitments from our elected officials at all levels to take a clear stand in support of this bill. [Name of local elected official ] has demonstrated [his or her ] support for workers’ rights by [insert particulars: quotation, stated stand on legislation, action taken]. [He or she] has yet to be joined by our elected representatives at the [municipal, state and/or federal ] levels. These employer abuses come at a huge cost to society, not only because they contravene our basic constitutional freedoms but also because when the right to choose a union is suppressed, society’s safety net is strained, race and gender pay gaps widen, discrimination on the job increases, wages and local tax bases dwindle and job safety standards plummet. The democracy America’s workers have fought so long and hard to establish should not be pillaged by unscrupulous individuals. The passage of the Employee Free Choice Act would enfranchise workers and break the chains that bind them to such unscrupulous and deceitful employers. We cannot continue to sacrifice workers rights and punish those that seek to organize around these rights. The power dynamics need to be shifted to be better balanced and the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act would ensure that. Please urge our local elected officials to support the Employee Free Choice Act so that we may restore to workers in [town name] and across the whole of our democracy the fundamental freedom to form unions. [Name, title]

Recognizing the importance of a fair and democratic workplace, We, the undersigned organizations and individuals pledge our support for The Employee Free Choice Act. The current system of workplace organization in this country is broken. Workers all across America are scared to engage in their legally protected right to organize at their workplace in order to improve working conditions, wages, benefits and job security. Employers take advantage of the broken and badly skewed system and routinely intimidate, coerce, and even fire workers for engaging in workplace organization. A Cornell University study showed that at least half of employers facing unionization drives threaten to partially or totally shut down if workers join a union, and one of five workers who try to organize are illegally fired. This routine and flagrant violation of workers’ rights has created a climate of fear and intimidation in the workplace. The results are that too many workers do not try to exercise their freedom for fear of losing their jobs. They quietly suffer hazardous working conditions, falling wages, and declining benefits. The American Anthropological Association wrote in a 2007 policy briefing that:

Anthropology provides sound evidence for the premises of The Employee Free Choice Act, namely that current organizing processes do not allow employees to express their desire to join unions because: 1) there are insufficient disincentives to managerial lawbreaking in its resistance to unions; and 2) management uses tactics of intimidation and fear to coerce workers to vote against unions.
The Employee Free Choice Act helps fix the current system by strengthening penalties for bosses that break the law while dealing with workplace organizing campaigns. It will also establish a system for third-party mediation if a contract agreement cannot be reached within 90 days of joining a union. Lastly, the Employee Free Choice Act will enable employees to form unions when a majority show their support to unionize by signing authorization cards. The Employee Free Choice Act will restore the freedom to organize in the American workplace and level the playing field for working people, who can not wait another day for this piece of historic legislation to be passed. We urge our legislators in Congress to act NOW and pass the Employee Free Choice Act, so that America can be a shining light

of workplace democracy, where Americans will no longer work in fear of making their voices heard.

For More Info
1: http://www.aflcio.org/joinaunion/how/employerinterference.cfm 2: http://www.aaanet.org/pdf/AAAPolicyBrief_092707.pdf

We, the undersigned organization, are concerned about the pervasive violation of the rights of working people when they attempt to exercise their basic freedom to form unions and bargain collectively for a better life. The Employee Free Choice Act is the first step to fixing this badly broken system. The Employee Free Choice Act will: - Strengthen penalties for companies that coerce or intimidate employees trying to form unions and bargain. - Establish mediation and binding arbitration when the employer and workers cannot agree on a first contract. - Enable employees to form unions when a majority signs authorization cards. Our organization endorses the Employee Free Choice Act and permits our organization’s name to be used on materials that may be reproduced and distributed to the press and the general public. PLEASE TYPE or PRINT CLEARLY: Name: _______________________________________________________ Title: _________________________________________________________ Organization: ___________________________________________________ Address:_______________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ City: ______________________State: ___________ Zip:_________________ Phone: _______________________________ Fax: _________________________________ ***Return to allison@jwj.org or fax (202) 393-7408***

Collective Bargaining: A process, usually regulated by law, in which a group of employees and their employer negotiate issues of wages, hours, and other conditions of the employer-employee relationship, for the purpose of reaching a mutually acceptable agreement, and the execution of a written contract incorporating that agreement. Contract: A written agreement reached through collective bargaining that sets forth wages, hours and other conditions of employment. Grievance: A formal complaint by an employee which charges that management has violated some aspect of the union contract. Living Wage: The lowest possible hourly wage a person can earn and still be able to cover the basic costs of living. As costs of living vary between different locations and increases with time, so does the living wage. Local Union: Group of organized employees holding a charter from a national or international labor organization. A local may be confined to union members in one company or one specific locality, or it may cover multiple contracts with various employers. Lockout: A denial of employment by the employer for the purpose of forcing workers to settle on the employer’s terms. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB): An agency of the U.S. Government that enforces the Wagner and Taft-Hartley Acts. It conducts most private sector certification elections. The NLRB’s function is to define appropriate bargaining units, hold elections, determine majority status for voluntary card check recognition, to certify unions to represent employees, to interpret and apply the law’s provisions prohibiting employer and union unfair labor practices, and to otherwise enforce the provisions of U.S. labor laws. Neutrality Agreements: An agreement between a union and employer requiring the employer not to oppose efforts of their workers to organize a union. Open Shop: A workplace in which employees do not have to belong to the union or pay dues to secure or retain employment with a company, even though there may be a collective bargaining agreement. The union is obligated by law to represent members and non-members equally regardless of whether it is an open shop or a union shop. Organizer: (or union or labor organizer): Employee of a union or federation (usually paid but sometimes a volunteer) whose duties include recruiting new members for the union, assisting in forming unions in non-union companies, leading campaigns for recognition, etc. Rank and File: The members of a union as distinct from the officers.

Recognition: When an employer agrees to recognize a union as the bargaining agent for the employees. ‚Right to Work Laws‛: An anti-union term coined to describe state laws that make it illegal for a collective bargaining agreement to contain clauses requiring union membership as a condition of employment. Scab: A derogatory term used for a person who crosses a picket line in order to work at a place that is on strike. Also used as a verb as in ‚Don’t scab.‛ Shop Steward (Representative or Delegate): A worker, typically elected, who officially represents other workers on the job, enforces the contract and helps people with grievances. Union-Busters: Professional consultants or lawyers who manipulate the labor law system and advise employers on how to thwart union organizing drives or how to decertify unions. 75% of employers hire union-busters when workers want to organize. Union busters usually self-identify as ‘union avoidance firms,’ ‘management consultants,’ or ‘labor consultants.’ Union Density: The portion of the workforce organized by unions. Higher density is an important factor in unions’ power to drive higher wages and benefits and better working conditions for a workforce. Union Shop: Form of union security provided in the collective bargaining agreement that requires employees to belong to or pay dues to the union as a condition of employment.