[URPE] Employee Free Choice Act
lrudman at radioproject.org
Wed Oct 7 17:38:51 MDT 2009
Hi: you all might be interested in an EFCA radio piece we did in
collaboration with Political Research Associates
--Lisa Rudman at "Making Contact"
From: urpe-announcements-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu
[mailto:urpe-announcements-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu] On Behalf Of Al
Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 7:39 AM
To: 'urpe-announcements at lists.econ.utah.edu'
Subject: [URPE] Employee Free Choice Act
Dear URPE members,
Given its importance, at least once every 3 months until it is
finally brought up for consideration I will write a short note to the URPE
list about the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), and make suggestions people
might pursue in supporting it. This note has a short review of two pieces of
news about the EFCA from September (including its possible timetable), and
then two things a number of you might be able to do this fall to support it:
work some material on it into your classes, or more encompassing, see about
a teach-in on it, as are being organized already at some campuses this fall.
See points 1 and 2 below.
Two short news notes.
A) On September 10th hundreds of community, faith, and student leaders went
to Washington to tell their elected officials why they support the EFCA, to
lobby for its passage(see
B) Tom Harkin, one of the more pro-labor members of the Senate, was just
named head of the House Education Labor and Pensions Committee (it's acronym
is HELP - pretty cleaver, no?), and as such he will have a central role in
moving the legislation forward in the Senate. His message to the group on
September 10 was - "We will win strong labor law reform, hopefully in 2009,
but if not, then early next year." Harkin stressed the importance of
vigorous, vocal support for the EFCA by non-labor allies of workers' rights,
in order to keep the issue before the public and the Congress during the
current period when the health care debate is dominating the legislative
OK, here are two suggestions that interested URPE members (both for
those in academia, and the second one perhaps even more doable for
activists that have contacts on local campuses) might be able to do to
continue to build support for this bill.
1) It is still early in the semester. As I suggested last spring, see if you
can work a short presentation on, and discussion about, the EFCA into any of
your classes. An extensive list of resources at all different levels of
popular presentation and academic rigor can be found on the PERI web site:
http://www.peri.umass.edu/efca/. Another good source is the Employee Free
Choice Act resources page of the United Association for Labor Education:
2) More ambitious, supporters of the EFCA are working to organize teach-ins
on it on a number of campuses across the country over the fall, especially
in (but not limited to) the key states of Arkansas, California, Colorado,
Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and
Virginia. Note this is likely something that would best be done if one had
some activist student group on campus or in your city (SLAP for example, or
any campus based student activist group that you could work with). If you
are interested in doing this, there are people who have done it, and so
talking to them first would be of great value. If you are interested in
organizing a teach-in or other campus activity in support of the EFCA, or if
you need further information about how to go about it, please contact
Sheldon Friedman of the AFL-CIO Voice at Work Campaign, at Sfriedma at aflcio.org
or 202-637-5310. Sheldon can put you in touch with people who have organized
teach-ins at other campuses
and suggest other resources.
As a final note, I want to encourage those of you who have not already
signed the Scholars in Support of the Employee Free Choice Act (also on the
PERI Web site mentioned above) to do so. In addition, you will likely find
interesting (and a reminder that not all of academia is as completely
dominated by the arch conservative mainstream as our beloved economics) the
statement in support of the EFCA adopted last month by the American
--and an excellent op ed, based on this statement, by ASA past president
Arne Kalleberg of U-NC:
Given that passing such a resolution is not a possibility in the AEA (I hear
you laughing at the thought ...), reaching out directly to students and the
community as in the two suggestions above, or letters-to-the-editor, op eds
and so on as suggested last spring, are important channels we can use to
bring necessary progressive economic support to this struggle for social
In solidarity, Al Campbell
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