The bill produced so far by the Senate Finance Committee is
a disaster for working families and retirees.
Here's the worst of it:
a 40 percent tax on employer health plans that cost $8,000 or more for
individual plans and $21,000 or more for family coverage. This bad idea will
hit active and retired CWAers hard. It also will hurt workers and families
in rural communities, where a single private insurance company has just about
cornered the market, and workers in high-risk occupations. It's bad public
CWA's research department figured out exactly what this
means: Over 10 years, on average, the tax would cost $21,400 per worker
with family coverage, $8,500 per worker with single coverage and $23,800 for
a pre-Medicare retiree.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that
companies are not going to pay this tax, they're going to cut benefits.
This will make our country's health care crisis worse, not better.
CWA and the labor movement are fighting back and everyone needs to
stand up for what's right. Here's what you can do right now:
senators. Give your name, city and state. Tell him or her that we need health
care reform, but taxing health care is the wrong way to go. What's better:
all employers should provide health care and the wealthy, individuals who
earn more than $280,000 and families earning $350,000, should pay their
fair share too.
More on the campaign
Middle Class Task Force, we need to work together to make a change!
Widget with Button #2
Widget with Button #2 Skin #1
Widget with Button #2 and no embed code
Welcome to the Employee Free Choice Act Update.
As you know, passing the Employee Free Choice Act is one of CWA's top priorities. The Employee Free Choice Act will help make the economy work for all of us again by ensuring that workers have a free choice and a fair chance to join a union. Today's workplaces are tilted in favor of lavishly-paid CEOs, who get golden parachutes while middle-class families struggle to get by. The Employee Free Choice Act gives us a chance to restore the balance, giving more workers a chance to form unions and get better health care, job security, and benefits.
This bi-weekly update will provide you with the latest news about our efforts to pass the Act and tools that you can use to make a difference. You can also find in-depth material in the Resources section at http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/9dzZqV510PDi/.
4,000 Rally for Employee Free Choice
In early February, thousands of workers from across the country
came to Capitol Hill to show support for the passage of the
Employee Free Choice Act. The event also featured remarks by
workers who have faced resistance and even been fired during
their efforts to organize their workplaces. Among them was CWA's
Sara Steffens, who was fired from her job at the Contra Costa
Times in retaliation for helping form a union at the paper. She
explained her support for the bill:
"We need the Employee Free Choice Act so we can feel empowered
to step up and help solve problems in our workplace, and not be
scared that if we stick our necks out that we're going to be the
next ones laid off."
Check out our video of Sara speaking at the Rally and hear more
of her story: http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/kpzZqV510PDn/
Rally participants also began the process of delivering 1.5 million cards to Congress from supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act, including more than 110,000 from CWA members. The names of those supporters are being displayed online in a continuous scroll. You can show your support for the Employee Free Choice Act by placing the scroll on your own website or blog. Learn more at: http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/91zZqV510PD8/
Letters to the Editor Get the Word Out
A New York Times editorial in late December made a powerful case for the Employee Free Choice Act, referring to it as "vital legislation" (http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/o1zZqV510PDo/). The Times endorsement was impressive, but members of Congress often look to newspapers, radio and TV stations, and blogs in their home states to get a sense of support for legislation among their own constituents.
That's why CWA members are busy writing letters to the editor to their local papers in order to get the word out about the Employee Free Choice Act. In North Carolina, Bill Burton saw a letter from an opponent of the bill in the News and Observer and wanted to make sure readers got the full story (http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/9pzZqV510PD9/).
Burton wrote: "Employees DO keep secret-ballot rights under the Employee Free Choice Act. They would simply gain an additional way to seek a contract and union representation through card check. The bill still provides for a secret-ballot election should employees opt for it. [Kilpatrick Stockton lawyer Richard] Haygood rightly assumes that most working men and women will use the card check method to avoid the coercion, threats, intimidation and even firings that companies use to discourage employees from forming a union."