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What happened to the Employee Free Choice Act?

Workers organizing for the Employee Free Choice Act
Workers organizing for the Employee Free Choice Act

In 1980, CEO’s earned 40 times what the average worker made in the U.S. By 2000, CEO’s made 400-550 times what the average worker made. This statistic was endorsed by William McDonough, during his tenure as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Shocked? It is a well known fact that productivity has increased since the “golden age of capitalism.” What happened?

One very obvious place to look is the assault on the labor movement. It's laughable that during the 2008 campaign, then, Senator Obama, was proudly hailing the Employee Free Choice Act. The Act essentially aims at enabling employees to organize. This is absurd because the Wagner Act of 1935 was enacted to do just that. The epic inequalities that existed during the Depression era, were in part, addressed by the labor unions that worked to democratize America in the years subsequent.

Through bitter opposition, extensive corporate propaganda and even violence, the labor movement in the U.S has steadily been minimized. One need only think of Wal-Mart as an example of the inability of American workers to organize and thus the decline in their wages and working conditions. In fact, the U.S boasts the worst income gap among developed countries, according to the International Labor Organization. Even more tragic is the success of the years of corporate propaganda in convincing the American worker that somehow unions are a bad thing.

The illegal firing of workers for attempting to organize workers is well documented and has instilled fear in many (again, look no further than Wal-Mart). Oddly enough, the government has conspicuously refused to enforce the law as it regards protecting workers’ right to organize and allowed conditions to deteriorate to the point of needing an Employee Free Choice Act. Even more odd is that this practice completely flies in the face Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Article 23 guarantees basic workers’ rights, including the right to organize.

Even so, there has been no word on the Employee Free Choice Act since the election. Certainly it is needed, but it is it likely? When Obama’s campaign funds are examined, the answer is probably not. The majority of Obama’s campaign was financed by the financial sector and other corporate interests. Wall Street prospers as corporations maximize profit. Profits are maximized by exploiting labor. Labor is exploited by denying laborers the right to organize. What do you think?


  • JT 5 years ago

    Why dont you talk about the government takeover of GM when considering Labor Unions?? The sad truth for you "populist" is that you voted for this man because he was the first black president and nothing more. Don't act suprised that he is going back on his campaign promises now. Dont act suprised, this is what you wanted right?
    Let me ask you this? Do you cherish anything in your life? If so, can I have it because Im poor.

  • Mansanto 5 years ago

    With all due respect, I personally have no problem with anyone making any amount of money as long as it is not removed from my own pocket as a means of their welfare support. I grew up grindingly poor and have made a life for myself that, I'm sure, you would find selfish. I earned my life and the finances I have from it. No one has the right to remove it from me after I have worked hard (beginning at age 10) to earn it. Labor movements use strong arm tactics to keep their members at a certain level. What if a worker at a garmet plant earned their way to a corporate seat some years later, garnering them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year? Would you tell that person they should not have it? We live how we earn, Mr. Hopewell. I learned that at the age of ten when I slept and worked in a Florida orange grove and have taught this to my children. It's a sentiment which seems lost to today's, "Just give it to me," and "you shouldn't have so much because I don't" attitude.