Rep. Hilda Solis, President-elect Obama’s selection for U.S. Secretary of Labor, is a supporter of the Employee Free Choice Act, the legislation that would eliminate secret ballots in the workplace, inviting intimidation of employees. The bill would also require binding arbitration if first-contract negotiations did not reach conclusion within 120 days, imposing a two-year contract on employers and union alike with no possibility of change.
Here is the statement she made on the legislation during House debate on H.R. 800, March 1, 2008:
Ms. SOLIS. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support as a family member from a strong union background. My father was a shop steward for the Teamsters and my mother was a proud worker for the United Rubber Workers, who worked tireless for 20 and 25 years. Without the health protection we received and the retirement benefits, I know myself and my seven siblings wouldn’t be where we are today.
It is important for people to have the ability, especially in this day than a time, when new women, new immigrants, are coming about, and want to be part of the American fabric. One of the ways they can do that is by joining the union, being part of that, to have those protections in place.
When union people get paid good wages, that money stays in the community, it helps to provide a vibrant economy, it helps to also even send their children, like me, who is a child of immigrants and of a union household, to be able to come to college and to eventually even run for office. Wow. Outstanding.
The unions always get a bad name by certain people in this area, but I will tell you one thing: I am very proud to stand with many of our union members to see how they have revitalized many of our communities, especially in Los Angeles.
I ask for you to support H.R. 800.
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