Breaking News: Card Check Introduced; Grassroots Network Forms in Opposition

WASHINGTON—The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), also known as the card-check bill, was reintroduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate after failing to pass in 2008.

Last year, the House supported a similar bill, which was then blocked by the Senate, according to Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association. United Fresh, which represents the produce industry, strongly opposes the bill.

“Now, the tenor in the Senate seems even more foreboding of taking away workers’ rights, and President Obama has said that he will sign the bill into law if it passes,” Stenzel continues. “These are perilous times for democracy when it comes to choosing which, if any, union workers want to represent them.”

Citing the influence of key swing states, Stenzel announced the formation of card-check grassroots networks in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

In forming the networks, United Fresh consulted with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), an outspoken opponent of the bill. United Fresh is a member of CDW’s steering committee.

Each state’s grassroots network will involve companies and individuals from the produce supply chain, including growers, processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, restaurants and allied suppliers. Led by a chairperson or co-chairs, the group will call and write letters to Congress, meet with Senators in their home states and craft letters for local newspapers.

“It’s gratifying to see both agriculture and the general business community rallying together on this issue,” Stenzel says. “But, the road is not easy. We simply must reach out at the local level in these eight priority states if we’re to have a chance to win this battle.”

Visit the United Fresh Card Check Resource Center at http://www.unitedfresh.org/newsviews/check_card.

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