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Letter to Senator Harkin and Representative Miller Supporting the Employee Free Choice Act

March 10, 2009

Dear Senator Harkin:

On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to express our strong support for the Employee Free Choice Act.  We thank you for your leadership in introducing this important legislation, and for your longstanding commitment to our nation’s workers. 

As you know, America’s labor unions have led the fight for working families, winning protections such as the 8-hour day and the 40-hour week, overtime rights, and access to health care and retirement security.  Today, the fight continues both to retain these vital rights and to ensure a fair minimum wage, and a safe and healthy workplace.

Paychecks are shrinking, health care costs are skyrocketing, and America’s workers are struggling to make ends meet.  In these tough times, when workers need more opportunities to get ahead, unions matter and make a difference.  Workers in unions earn 28 percent higher wages on average, and are 62 percent more likely to have employer-covered health coverage.

Unfortunately, anti-union forces continue to thwart workers’ rights to organize by using strong-arm tactics such as threats and intimidation.  Every year, over 20,000 workers are illegally fired or discriminated against for exercising their labor rights.  In at least one quarter of all organizing efforts, an employer illegally fires a worker for supporting the union.

The Employee Free Choice Act recognizes that our nation’s workers deserve better.  By protecting the right of workers to choose a union, the Employee Free Choice Act would help level the playing field for employees and would help ensure every worker the ability to succeed in today’s economy. 

We thank you again for your strong leadership on this very important issue and look forward to continuing to work with you in support of our nation’s workers.   


Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Advocacy