April 28th marks Workers Memorial Day – the AFL-CIO’s way of honoring “those who have suffered … on the job.”
Unfortunately, millions of employees are suffering under American labor law relatively unchanged since the 1940s. Less than 10 percent of union members ever voted for the union currently “representing” them. And those who did weren’t even guaranteed a secret-ballot election. Under current labor law, union officials can circumvent the democratic process by pressuring employees into signing public authorization cards, leaving them without a private vote and vulnerable to intimidation.
The Employee Rights Act (ERA) would democratize the workplace by guaranteeing secret-ballot elections and allowing employees to periodically re-assess their union representation. Co-sponsored by 170 members of Congress last session, and supported by 80 percent of Americans, the ERA’s key reforms protect worker voice and prevent intimidation in the workplace.
Labor reform is the best way to honor our working men and women.
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Luka Ladan, Communications Director, Center for Union Facts, Washington D.C.