We learn from today’s news conference marking the introduction of the Employee Free Choice Act that the Senate version has 40 cosponsors — that’s compared to 46 in the 110th Congress. The House version now has 223 cosponsors, versus 233 original cosponsors last go around. And, as the EFCA Report blog notes, obstensibly pro-union Democrats made major gains in both the Senate and House in the last election.
Here’s the news release as posted at the website of Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, “U.S. Senate and House Introduce Employee Free Choice Act”:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Leading members of the U.S. Senate and House today introduced legislation that would help enable workers to bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions by restoring their rights to form unions.
“The current crisis has shown us the dangers of an economy that leaves working families behind. The people who work in our factories, build our roads, and care for our children are the backbone of this great nation. The Employee Free Choice Act will give these hardworking men and women a greater voice in the decisions that affect their families and their futures. It’s a critical step toward putting our economy back on track, and I hope that we can act quickly to send it to the President’s desk,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
“Just as the National Labor Relations Act, the 40 hour week and the minimum wage helped to pull us out of the Great Depression and into a period of unprecedented prosperity, so too will the Employee Free Choice Act help reinvigorate our economy,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “Today is one of those defining moments in history as we introduce legislation that puts power back into the hands of the people who are truly the backbone of this economy.”
“Americans’ wages have been stagnating or falling for the past decade. For far too long, we have seen corporate CEOs take care of themselves and shareholders at the expense of workers,” said U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. “If we want a fair and sustainable recovery from this economic crisis, we must give workers the ability to stand up for themselves and once again share in the prosperity they help to create.”
Senator Kennedy, ill with cancer, was not at the news conference or the Senate committee hearing that preceded the media event.
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