The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Change to Win are also vowing to press on with their work on the Employee Free Choice Act despite Sen. Arlen Specter’s (R-PA) momentum-killing announcement today that he would oppose the union-organizing bill.
SEIU President Andy Stern says he’s “dismayed by those who say they support the democratic process, yet refuse to allow meaningful debate and a democratic vote on critical legislation like the Employee Free Choice Act,” while Change to Win takes a more diplomatic approach in responding to Specter. Both groups’ statements are after the jump.From SEIU’s Stern:
In the middle of this economic crisis, passing the Employee Free Choice Act is exactly the right thing to do to give workers the chance to level the playing field. Majority Leader Reid said today, and as even Sen. Specter acknowledges, we need strong labor reform. Now more than ever, America’s workers need a choice, free from intimidation and harassment, to bargain for job security, better wages and health care. Our President, Vice President and majorities in both houses of Congress share this goal, and we will not stop in our efforts to achieve it.
In an essay Senator Specter recently wrote for the Harvard Law Review, he states that for people like himself, “finding a practical solution is more important than political posturing.” That’s why we’re dismayed by those who say they support the democratic process, yet refuse to allow meaningful debate and a democratic vote on critical legislation like the Employee Free Choice Act.
It’s simple: If you support democracy, you should support the right to debate legislation that could improve the lives of millions of working Americans, pump $49 billion into the economy at a time when we desperately need it, and that’s supported by the vast majority of the public.
We look forward to working with Sen. Specter and the rest of the Congress to find ways to give workers the free choice to join a union free from intimidation and harassment.
From Change to Win Chair Anna Burger, also Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU:
The Employee Free Choice Act is a vital component to restoring our economy, rebuilding the middle class and renewing the American Dream for America’s workers. Allowing workers the choice to join together, free from intimidation and harassment, to bargain for job security, better wages and health care will stimulate our economy and put working families back on the path of prosperity. We will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans, including Sen. Specter, to pass this critical legislation and make our economy work for everyone.