Sunday, May 13, 2007

Labor Law Reform and progressive politics - Labor Law Reform Not Just For Unions:
A bill now moving through Congress to expand workers' rights could be the most important legislation in decades to advance the concerns of environmentalists, public schools, higher education, senior citizens, universal health care, housing, women's and gay rights, and civil rights.

The bill—called the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)—is understandably the top priority for America's labor unions. It would mean better wages, benefits and working conditions for all employees. It would also make it more likely for unions to win organizing drives in workplaces.

But why should other constituencies rally behind this effort to reform the nation's labor laws? The reason is simple. The labor movement is still the most effective political force for electing liberal candidates at the local, state and federal levels. Once in office, pro-labor politicians are typically also the strongest advocates of strong environment laws, funding for public schools and higher education, civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, universal health insurance, affordable housing and protection of Social Security. A strong labor movement benefits these other agendas and causes, which have been under attack by conservative forces in recent years.

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