FLOOR




                        BILL NO.                28-0081

        Twenty-Eighth Legislature of the Virgin Islands...
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 1          WHEREAS, union workers receive better wages and benefits, with union

 2   workers earning 29 percent more ...
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 1            WHEREAS, a worker’s fundamental right to choose a union free from coercion

 2   and intimidation is a pu...
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 1                                     BILL SUMMARY

 2          This bill directs the Legislature to urge the United S...
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Bill No. 28-0081 (Resolution) Us Congress To Enact The Employee Free Choice Act

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Bill No. 28-0081 (Resolution) Us Congress To Enact The Employee Free Choice Act

  1. 1. FLOOR BILL NO. 28-0081 Twenty-Eighth Legislature of the Virgin Islands June 24, 2009 A Resolution urging the United States Congress to enact the Employees Free Choice Act PROPOSED BY: Senator Terrence “Positive” Nelson 1 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands: 2 WHEREAS, in 1935, the United States established by law that workers must be 3 free to form unions; and 4 WHEREAS, the freedom to form or join a union is internationally recognized by 5 the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a fundamental right; and 6 WHEREAS, the free choice to join with others and bargain for better wages and 7 benefits is essential to economic opportunity and good living standards; and 8 WHEREAS, unions benefit communities by strengthening living standards, 9 stabilizing tax bases, promoting equal treatment and enhancing civic participation; and 10 WHEREAS, states in which more people are union members are states with 11 higher wages, better benefits and better schools; and 12
  2. 2. 2 1 WHEREAS, union workers receive better wages and benefits, with union 2 workers earning 29 percent more than workers without a union, 35 percent more likely to 3 have access to health insurance, and are four times more likely to have access to a 4 guaranteed defined-benefit pension; and 5 WHEREAS, unions help raise workers’ pay and narrow the income gap for 6 minorities and women, by increasing median weekly earnings by 31 percent for union 7 women workers, 31 percent for African-American workers, 50 percent for Latino 8 workers, 9 percent for Asian-American workers; and 9 WHEREAS, workers across the Nation are routinely denied the freedom to form 10 unions and bargain for better life, with 25 percent of private-sector employees illegally 11 firing at least one worker for union activity during organizing campaigns; and 12 WHEREAS, 77 percent of the public believes it is important to have strong laws 13 protecting the freedom for workers to make their own decision about having a union, and 14 58 percent of workers would join a union if they had the chance; and 15 WHEREAS, employers often refuse to bargain fairly with workers after forming 16 a union by dragging out first contract bargaining for up to two years in 45 percent of 17 successful campaigns; and 18 WHEREAS, each year millions of dollars are spent to frustrate workers’ efforts 19 to form unions, and most violations of workers’ freedom to choose a union occur behind 20 closed doors, with 78 percent of employers forcing employees to attend mandatory anti- 21 union meetings; and 22 WHEREAS, when the right of workers to form a union is violated, wages fall, 23 race and gender pay gaps widen, workplace discrimination increases and job safety 24 standards disappear; and
  3. 3. 3 1 WHEREAS, a worker’s fundamental right to choose a union free from coercion 2 and intimidation is a public issue that requires public policy solutions, including 3 legislative remedies; and 4 WHEREAS, the Employee Free Choice Act has been introduced in both houses 5 of the U.S. Congress in order to restore workers’ freedom to join a union; and 6 WHEREAS, the Employee Free Choice Act will safeguard workers’ ability to 7 make their own decisions with these abuses, provide for first contract mediation and 8 arbitration, and establish meaningful penalties when employers violate workers’ rights 9 Now Therefore, 10 Be it resolved by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands: 11 SECTION 1. The Legislature of the Virgin Islands, on behalf of the people of 12 the Virgin Islands, supports the Employee Free Choice Act which would authorize the 13 National Labor Relations Board to certify a union as the bargaining representative when a 14 majority of employees voluntarily sign authorizations designating that union to represent 15 them; provide for first contract mediation and arbitration; and establish meaningful 16 penalties for violations of a worker’s freedom to choose a union. 17 SECTION 2. The Legislature of the Virgin Islands respectfully urges the United 18 States Congress to enact the Employee Free Choice Act to protect and preserve for 19 America’s workers their freedom to choose for themselves whether or not to form a 20 union. 21 SECTION 3. The Legislature of the Virgin Islands respectfully requests the 22 President of the United States to sign into law the Employee Free Choice Act. 23 SECTION 4. Copies of this Resolution shall be forwarded to the President of the 24 United States, each member of the Senate and the House of Representatives and to the 25 Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress. 26
  4. 4. 4 1 BILL SUMMARY 2 This bill directs the Legislature to urge the United States Congress to enact and 3 the President of the United States to sign into law the Employee Free Choice Act 4 guaranteeing U.S. workers throughout the Nation the right to form unions and to choose 5 unions to represent them and to be free from coercion and intimidation for choosing a 6 representative union. 7 8 9 10 BR09-0143T/January 28, 2009/AA 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

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