The Federal legislation known as the “Employee Free Choice Act” was recently introduced. It would allow workers to unionize though signed membership cards rather than a secret ballot election.
Hundreds of union workers rallied to support the bill at the State Capitol. Steve Smith is with the California Labor Federation. He says it could jump-start the economy:
“Nobody has money to support local business, and that’s because wages have stagnated for a generation. We need to get those wages up, we need to get those benefits up, and one of the surest ways to do that is to give workers the power to bargain with their employers. “
Smith says under the current system, employers intimidate workers into voting against the union. But California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaramberg says secret ballot elections protect workers from intimidation by unions. He says given the recession, the focus should be on reducing employer costs and increasing jobs