SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 68

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

212th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 15, 2007

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

Senator ELLEN KARCHER

District 12 (Mercer and Monmouth)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Cunningham

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges Congress to enact “Employee Free Choice Act.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Joint Resolution urging Congress to enact the “Employee Free Choice Act.”

 

Whereas, In 1935, the United States Congress enacted the “National Labor Relations Act” to protect the rights of workers to form unions and in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights internationally recognized the freedom to form or join a union as a fundamental human right guaranteed to all people;  and

Whereas, A worker’s fundamental right to choose a union free from coercion and intimidation is a public issue that requires public policy solutions, including legislative remedies;  and

Whereas, The free choice to join with others and bargain for better wages and benefits is essential to economic opportunity and good living standards and employees in states in which more people are union members consistently have higher wages, better benefits and better schools;  and

Whereas, Unions benefit communities by strengthening living standards, stabilizing tax bases, promoting equal treatment and enhancing civic participation;  and

Whereas, Union workers receive higher wages, earning 29 percent more than non-union workers, and union workers are four times more likely to have access to a guaranteed defined-benefit pension and 35 percent more likely to have access to health insurance coverage than non-union workers;  and

Whereas, Unions help increase workers’ pay, and narrow the income gap for minorities and women, by increasing median weekly earnings by 31 percent for women workers, 31 percent for African American workers, 50 percent for Latino workers, and 9 percent for Asian-American workers;  and

Whereas, Workers across the nation are routinely denied the freedom to form unions and bargain for a better life, with 25 percent of private-sector employers illegally firing at least one worker for union activity during organizing campaigns;  and

Whereas, 77 percent of the public believes it is important to have strong laws protecting the rights of workers to make their own decisions about union participation and 58 percent of workers would join a union if they had the opportunity;  and

Whereas, In 45 percent of successful union campaigns employers have refused to bargain fairly with workers by delaying the first contract bargaining for up to two years;  and

Whereas, Each year, millions of dollars are spent to discourage workers’ efforts to form unions, and most violations of workers’ freedom to choose a union occur privately, with 78 percent of employers forcing employees to attend mandatory anti-union meetings;  and

Whereas, When workers’ rights to form a union are violated, wages decrease, race and gender pay gaps widen, workplace discrimination increases, and job safety standards disappear;  and

Whereas, The enactment of the “Employee Free Choice Act,” H.R.800, would safeguard a worker’s ability to make their own decision concerning certain workplace abuses;  preserve workers’ freedom to form a union;  provide for first contract mediation and arbitration;  and establish meaningful penalties for employer violations of workers’ rights;  now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  The Congress of the United States is urged to enact the “Employee Free Choice Act,” H.R.800, to authorize the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union as the bargaining representative when a majority of employees voluntarily designate that union to represent them; provide for first contract mediation and arbitration; and establish meaningful penalties for employer violations of workers’ rights.

 

     2.  Duly authenticated copies of this joint resolution shall be transmitted to the presiding officers of the Congress of the United States and each member of the United States Congress elected from the State of New Jersey.

 

     3.  This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution urges Congress to enact the “Employee Free Choice Act,” H.R.800.  The enactment of the “Employee Free Choice Act” would safeguard a worker’s ability to make their own decision concerning certain workplace abuses;  preserve workers’ freedom to form a union;  provide for first contract mediation and arbitration;  and establish meaningful penalties for employer violations of workers’ rights.