My EFCA piece over at Global Comment.
In his press conference Tuesday night, Barack Obama took pains to emphasize that comprehensive solutions were needed to the economic crisis, and that working families were suffering and needed help to create real wealth.
Congress has before it a bill that would help lessen the inequality in America and support those working families by helping workers organize into unions. That bill is the Employee Free Choice Act, H.R. 1409, introduced on March 10 by George Miller of California, with a who’s who of congresspeople as cosponsors.
Economist Mark Price of the Keystone Research Center in Pennsylvania says,
“Unions make sure that as productivity rises the wealth which this increased productivity creates shows up in the paychecks of workers. Unions do this because they give workers more bargaining power and that bargaining power translates into higher wages.”
Price also notes that a stronger labor movement is key in creating a sustainable economy once the crisis is stabilized. “Like the need for increased financial regulation, a stronger union movement is critical to making sure that when the economy does recover that recovery produces widely shared gains.”
EFCA, as it is known, is shaping up to be the biggest battle over organized labor since 1947, and big business is pouring millions into advertising and lobbying against the bill—including Citigroup and other bailed-out businesses. The irony of using taxpayer dollars from working people to defeat a bill that aims to help working people is not lost on EFCA supporters.