A resolution supporting the Employee Free Choice Act.

WHEREAS, in 1935, the United States established, by law, that workers must be free to form unions; and

WHEREAS, the freedom to form or join a union is internationally recognized by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a fundamental human right; 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

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

WHEREAS, states in which more people are union members are states with higher wages, better benefits and better schools; and

WHEREAS, union workers earn 29 percent more than workers without a union, are 35 percent more likely to have access to health insurance, and are four times more likely to have access to a guaranteed defined-benefit pension; and

WHEREAS, unions help raise workers’ pay and narrow the income gap for minorities and women by increasing median weekly earnings by 31 percent for union 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 freedom for workers to make their own decision about having a union, and 58 percent of workers would join a union if they had the chance; and

WHEREAS, employers often refuse to bargain fairly with workers after forming a union by dragging out first contract bargaining for up to two years in 45 percent of successful campaigns; and

WHEREAS, when the right of workers to form a union is violated, wages fall, race and gender pay gaps widen, workplace discrimination increases and job safety standards disappear; 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 Employee Free Choice Act has been introduced in the U.S. Congress in order to restore workers’ freedom to join a union; and

WHEREAS, The Employee Free Choice Act will provide more stability between employers and employees by requiring arbitration to resolve disputes in the negotiations of the first contract; and

WHEREAS, The Employment Free Choice Act will safeguard workers’ ability to make their own decisions with these abuses, provide for first contract mediation and arbitration, and establish meaningful penalties when employers violate workers’ rights.


Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as supporting the Employee Free Choice Act which would authorize the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union as the bargaining representative when a majority of employees voluntarily sign authorizations designating that union to represent them, provide for first contract mediation and arbitration; and establish meaningful penalties for violations of a worker’s freedom to choose a union.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council urges Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to protect and preserve for America’s workers their freedom to choose for themselves whether or not for form a union.

Section 3. The Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Resolution to Senator Lamar Alexander, Senator Bob Corker, and to each member of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation.

Section 4. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Rip Ryman, Lonnell Matthews, Vivian Wilhoite, Edith Taylor Langster, Darren Jernigan, Jerry Maynard, Walter Hunt, Bo Mitchell, Mike Jameson, Greg Adkins, Buddy Baker, Sean McGuire, Sam Coleman, Jason Holleman, Keith Durbin, Sandra Moore, Erik Cole, Frank Harrison, Megan Barry, Parker Toler, Erica Gilmore


Referred: Personnel Committee 
Introduced: November 20, 2007
Adopted: November 20, 2007 - Roll Call Vote
Returned Unsigned by Mayor: December 4, 2007