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Good Jobs, Green Jobs: Why Workers Rights to Organize are Critical to the Green Economy.

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Presentation on theme: "Good Jobs, Green Jobs: Why Workers Rights to Organize are Critical to the Green Economy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Good Jobs, Green Jobs: Why Workers Rights to Organize are Critical to the Green Economy

2 Investing in the Green Economy will: – Create millions of new green jobs; – Expand the role and demand for many manufacturing and supply chain jobs; – Provide an opportunity to re-build our economy to benefit both workers and the environment.

3 What does investing in Green Jobs mean for the Middle Class? 21st century jobs with good wages Lower electricity and home heating bills A growing, greener, cleaner economy

4 Why Being Green Means Being Blue As Well: Unionized workers are: Better trained to recognize and deal with: – Hazardous pollution – Chemical spills – Accidents and disasters that devastate communities Better protected to blow the whistle on health and safety risks, hazards and accidents in the workplace

5 Our Front Line Of Defense Unions play vital role in exposing corporate violations that endanger the health and safety of workers and their communities – The Case of C8 – Toxic nerve gas agent VX

6 Strengthening Our Middle Class Union workers earn more and have better benefits Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2009 Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 2008

7 A History of Partnership – Combat unfair trade deals – Pass legislation to keep workplaces and communities safe – Push for the monitoring and decrease of toxic releases and environmental pollution

8 The Freedom To Organize Is Being Challenged Among private-sector employers whose workers try to form unions: – 25% illegally fire at least 1 worker for union activity – 51% threaten to close a worksite if union prevails – 91% force employees to attend 1-on-1 anti-union meetings with their supervisors Despite 60 million U.S. workers (over 50%) who say they would join a union if they could: – Only 12% of the U.S. workforce is unionized – Compared to 95% in France, 35% in U.K, and 32% in Canada

9 The choice we have: Green Jobs = Good Jobs

10 The Employee Free Choice Act Gives workers the right to decide how they want to form a union; Strengthens penalties for companies that illegally coerce or intimidate employees to prevent the forming a union; Brings in a neutral third party to settle a contract when a company and a newly certified union cannot agree; Enables workers to form unions when a majority of workers sign union authorization cards.


12 The Truth About Secret Ballot Elections Opponents claim that the Employee Free Choice Act will take away the secret ballot when in fact it: – Allows majority sign-up OR a secret ballot election, putting the choice for HOW to form a union in the workers hands Current system of secret ballot elections is broken – Management-controlled election process Employers control the information workers can receive Employers routinely intimidate, harass, coerce, and even fire workers who try to organize a union

13 Why Majority Sign-Up Is More Fair Minimizes workplace conflict – Reduces conflict, coercion and harassment – Reduces delays, business disruptions, and legal costs associated with secret ballot election process A proven approach – Less pressure and stress for both workers and employers Truly democratic – Union is only formed if a majority of all employees sign authorization form – Employees who do not sign form are presumed not to support union representation

14 What You Can Do Contact your representatives in Congress and ask them to Support Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act Educate friends, family, and community members on worker issues, and encourage them to contact their representatives in Congress too Write to your local newspaper and/or blog about your support for workers and the Employee Free Choice Act


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