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The Employee Free Choice Act

Workers need this

January 25, 2009
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PATRICK J. Bannon's attack on the Employee Free Choice Act needs to be unmasked for the self-serving piece of sophistry it is ("Bill would allow unions to expand at all costs," Op-ed, Jan. 18). He is not a defender of workers' rights.

EFCA would eliminate the 45-day waiting period between card-signing and election, and thus also the opportunity of management consulting firms to wage campaigns of cajolery and intimidation to dissuade workers from collective bargaining rights.

In the past 18 years I have organized steel mills, foundries, utility workers, public sector employees, and cab drivers. Not once have I seen any firm that Bannon might represent concerned in the least about the rights of workers. Rather, they come in using fear tactics, threatening plant-closings, firing pro-union workers, and violating labor laws with impunity.

The "core principles of American labor relations" that Bannon praises so sanctimoniously are in practice anything but fair and democratic. They bolster corporate privilege to intimidate and stack the deck. They enable anti-union campaigns that distort the truth.

EFCA would indeed expand unionism, and rightly so. It would help break corporate totalitarianism too common in the American workplace.

Donna Blythe Shaw
Dorchester

The writer is a staff representative with the United Steelworkers International.

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