Employee Free Choice Act is Introducted to House and Senate! March 10, 2009
Earlier today, the Employee Free Choice Act was introduced in the House and Senate. It’s being supported by, among others, millions of American workers who would like a union – and with it a union contract. It’s being opposed by CEOs who you can be sure all bargained for a contract before they ever set foot in their corner offices.
This law is the most important piece of labor legislation in decades and a critical component in the effort to restore our economy.
In recent years, Americans have worked harder than ever and yet they have shared in less of the wealth they created. Worker productivity is up, and yet real median household income is down. Simultaneously, CEO pay has risen to as much as 400 times more than average worker pay.
UNITE HERE applauds the confirmation of Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor. We look forward to continuing our working relationship with Secretary Solis in her new role. We do not believe there is a more fitting leader for the Department of Labor.
In these dire economic times, working Americans need a Secretary of Labor who will speak for their interests in Washington. We have an historic opportunity to pass the Employee Free Choice Act and rebuild a stronger economy founded on a solid middle-class. Hilda Solis has a consistent record of working to ensure that every American has access to a quality job. We consider her a very strong ally in passing legislation and enforcing laws that help workers.
At UNITE HERE events, Hilda Solis is known as an honorary shop steward—a symbol of the respect she has earned through her decades-long commitment to working Americans. She has walked numerous picket-lines with us in Southern California. Our members have volunteered in every single Solis campaign. And, when she ran for the U.S. Congress, we were the first union to endorse her.
Photo from left to right: UNITE HERE General President Bruce Raynor, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger, Vice President Joe Biden, UNITE HERE Executive Vice President and Change to Win Secretary-Treasurer Edgar Romney, UFCW International President Joseph Hansen, UFW President Arturo Rodriguez. Photo taken by:Linda Chavez-Thompson
This morning, UNITE HERE General President Bruce Raynor joined President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and other labor leaders and advocates at the launch of The White House Task Force on Working Families.
Statement from UNITE HERE General President Bruce Raynor
The creation of The White House Task Force on Working Families is a tremendously important action from President Obama and Vice President Biden and one that is consistent with their priorities on the campaign trail. We now have leaders with a genuine interest in working for those who work – and by that I mean the 16 million workers who have a union, the 60 million workers who would like to have a union, and everyone who works hard to put food on the table and a roof over their head.
A Recovery That Benefits Everyone January 27, 2009
“We will not have a recovery that benefits all unless we get Free Choice and bring several million more dish washers and nursing home workers and janitors to the bargaining table.”
Click here to listen to Bruce Raynor's interview on Free Speech Radio News about the Employee Free Choice Act
To celebrate the inauguration, hotel workers in DC "button-up" for Employee Free Choice January 20, 2009
Today UNITE HERE members celebrate, as a President they worked so hard to elect takes his vow of office. In DC, UNITE HERE workers at hotels involved in the inauguration are wearing their beliefs on their lapels--- buttons saying “Employee Free Choice: There oughta be a law”. Myron Gorham, a dishwasher at the Marriott Wardman Park explains the Employee Free Choice Act is “a bill to help people more easily unionize without threat from their management.”
Myron's full interview about the buttons and the importance of unions is online here.
It’s strange when you think about it, really. A CEO would never agree to work without a contract guaranteeing his or her pay and benefits in writing. And yet, workers in this country suffered through an administration that did not think they deserve a contract. That ends on January 20th.
UNITE HERE Western Region Vice President Christina Vazquez appeared on Laura Flanders' GRITtv show yesterday to talk about the union's personal relationship with incoming Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, who she calls an "honorary shop steward".
Watch online at GRITtv.
Rep. Hilda Solis named Secretary of Labor December 18, 2008
UNITE HERE is thrilled to have a proven advocate for working Americans named our new Secretary of Labor. With this appointment and a firm commitment to a stimulus package that helps working people including the Employee Free Choice Act, the President elect is affirming his commitment to bring working families the kind of change they voted for. Representative Solis understands that unions are the key rebuilding and expanding the American middle class and restoring our economy. Rep. Solis has championed workers right to organize for family sustaining jobs. With a strong Secretary of Labor we will finally be able to address the crisis in labor law enforcement that has plagued our country for the past 8 years and build and create an economy that rewards work.
In monumental victory, Smithfield workers unionize December 16, 2008
Last week meat packing workers at Smithfield's Tar Heel meatpacking plant won recognition of their union. The success ended a 15-year struggle and was a victory not only for Smithfield's 5,000 workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers union but also for all workers struggling to organize. Change to Win, a federation of labor unions, helped coordinate work between the UFCW and CTW's other member unions including UNITE HERE. Organizers point to worker dedication and union cooperation as the keys to the Smithfield victory. "It's a new day," said Michael Freeman, a UH Southern Region organizer who helped in the CTW effort, "Unions working together means we are able to organize workers where otherwise we would not be able to. Particularly in the South." Freeman, a UH organizer of 16 years, said that working on the Smithfield campaign taught him about union organizing across different industries. "Plenty of workers need to be organized," he said, "And, I've realized that all unions have the same thing in common—we all better the lives of everyday workers."