The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent tens of millions of dollars to block labor law reform and spread lies about unions. They've also stood in the way of climate change legislation and health insurance reform. But now the Chamber is feeling the pressure. Across the country and online, people are standing up to say the U.S. Chamber doesn't speak for them.
Labor, environmental, and small-business advocates protested in San Francisco at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's conference, joining similar protests in Philadelphia and Chicago.
What do small business owners, unions, and progressive leaders have in common? An agenda for justice that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is spending lots of money to derail!
So at the Chamber's conference in Philadelphia, over 100 local business owners and citizens from a wide range of groups (Health Care for America Now PA, Greenpeace, MoveOn, SEIU, Sierra Club, UFCW Local 1776, Change to Win, IBT, USW, Clean Energy Works, and more) turned out to make sure the business leaders attending the conference heard from them.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a major force against the Employee Free Choice Act, but more and more responsible businesses are standing up and saying the Chamber doesn't stand for them. Do you agree?
On September 10th, we brought 300 people who support the Employee Free Choice Act – including small business owners, farmers, clergy, and civil rights leaders – to Washington DC. And we backed them up with events in dozens of cities across the country and thousands of phone calls from online activists. Here are a few highlights in their own words:
North Carolina delegate: "I'd like to thank you and all of the other organizers and leaders of the Employee Free Choice Act Lobby Day for a great day of action. Meeting other advocates and having an opportunity to state our perspective on a long overdue and critical piece of legislation to our elected representatives was highly motivating."
Maine delegate: "The trip was a great opportunity to not only voice my concern about labor issues, but also to be part of something so large and so important for our country."
Delaware delegate: “My first thoughts were, "What the heck am I here for, and what does it have to do with the services that we provide?" Being first timers, my wife and I really didn't know what to expect. It didn't take very long to find out that the answer was EVERYTHING! – especially recounting the many benefits that the UNION has provided me and my family seen before my birth.”
Wisconsin delegate: “Workers’ rights is such a worthy cause and seeing and meeting so many people rallying for the same thing was beautiful. Hearing all of the stories that were being told by the people from so many different walks of life....I just thank you for the opportunity. It was a real learning experience. I am happy to help in any way that I can in the future.”
Yesterday’s exciting Employee Free Choice Act Coalition Lobby Day
reinforced the crucial role our progressive partners are playing as we
work to pass meaningful labor law reform this year. More than 300 small business owners, veterans, farmers, students, faith leaders, civil rights activists, women’s advocates, and environmentalists took to Capitol Hill to tell more than 100 of their Congressional leaders why the Employee Free Choice Act is important to them.
The delegates came from 101 cities in 15 states, and represented more than two dozen organizations. More than 80 organizations supported the day of action with calls, emails, press releases, and their continued backing of workers, their unions, and the need for labor law reform.
Congressional staff members have heard from labor and business about
the Employee Free Choice Act, but they were genuinely surprised to find
large groups of constituents from non-labor organizations knocking on
their door to remind them why this bill is vital to our economy and to
our values as a nation. Our citizen lobbyists pressed them to continue
making the Employee Free Choice Act a priority, echoing what they heard
from new HELP Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin in the morning.
In all the excitement – and thankfully, lack of rain – we were reminded why so many people from so many walks of life are coming together to lend their voice to this cause. The participants spoke passionately about the role of the Employee Free Choice Act in bringing economic justice to our country and why they were coming to talk about the need for labor law reform.
More than 300 activists from 15 states are on Capitol Hill today to tell their elected leaders that workers need and deserve meaningful labor law reform. The diverse group of small business owners, veterans, farmers, students, faith leaders, civil rights activists, women’s advocates, and environmentalists are uniting in one voice to remind lawmakers why the Employee Free Choice Act is vital to rebuilding our economy.
What do 300 farmers, ranchers, small business owners, veterans, students, faith leaders, civil rights leaders, women's advocates, environmentalists and others have in common? They all support the Employee Free Choice Act and are flying in from 15 states on September 10 to deliver that message to their Senators and Representatives. Like us, they all want the economy to work for everyone — and that will only happen when workers can freely choose to join a union without fear of intimidation or harassment.
State delegations are organizing send-off events in their home towns and the fly-in lobby day will be accompanied by a call-in day from those unable to make it to Washington, DC. Everyone is invited to attend the kick-off event the morning of September 10; details to follow!
In the heat of the summer months, American Rights at Work and our allies are keeping the Employee Free Choice Act in the minds of members of Congress. We’ve produced two new fact sheets on the ways unions help build healthy economies and a skilled workforce:
Working with hospitals, unions are training healthcare workers so patients receive the best care possible.
Apprenticeship programs provided by unions are enhancing the skills of workers in the construction and building trades, increasing the pool of qualified employees for this important sector of the U.S. economy.
Without a doubt, unions are helping workers weather the current economic storm. The Employee Free Choice Act will make it possible for more workers to join together for a voice in the workplace, paving the path for long-term, sustainable economic growth.