Whistleblowers are the human factor that is the Achilles heel for bureaucratic corruption, which is largely sustained by secrecy. When workers are in fear of losing their jobs because they don’t have workplace protections, including unions and whistleblower’s rights, they are far less likely to step forward to report abuse, fraud or corruption. Whistleblower organizations sent a letter to Congress today, offering their support for the Employee Free Choice Act.
Dear Member of Congress:
The undersigned organizations, all of which support the rights of whistleblowers, write to urge expeditious congressional action to adopt the Employee Free Choice Act or EFCA. Whistleblowers are the human factor that is the Achilles heel for bureaucratic corruption, which is largely sustained by secrecy. When workers are in fear of losing their jobs because they don’t have workplace protections, including unions and whistleblower’s rights, they are far less likely to step forward to report abuse, fraud or corruption.
The undersigned organizations are working to strengthen laws that specifically protect whistleblowers, but even with these added protections, legal rights are no substitute for the workplace solidarity that a union can provide. Unfortunately, the current process for forming unions is badly broken and so skewed in favor of those who oppose unions that workers must literally risk their jobs in order to form a union. Although it is illegal, one quarter of employers facing an organizing drive have been found to fire at least one worker who supports a union. In fact, employees who are active union supporters have a one-in-five chance of being fired for legal union activities. Sadly, many employers resort to spying, threats, intimidation, harassment and other illegal activity in their campaigns to oppose unions. The penalty for illegal activity, including firing workers for engaging in protected activity, is so weak that it does little to deter law breakers.
Even when employers don't break the law, the process works against union supporters. The employer controls the information workers can receive, can force workers to attend anti-union meetings during work hours, can force workers to meet with supervisors who deliver anti-union messages, and can imply that the business will close if the union wins. Union supporters' access to employees, on the other hand, is heavily restricted.
Strengthened whistleblower protection laws, combined with greater rights and protections for workers seeking to form unions, are critical to encouraging workers to come forward when they witness fraud, abuse or corruption in the workplace. We stand ready to provide any information that would help expedite the process of getting the Employee Free Choice Act enacted.
Thank you for your support.
National Consumers League
Truckers Justice Center
International Association of Whistleblowers
Organic Consumers Association
Center for Biological Diversity
After Downing Street
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO
Government Accountability Project
Justice Through Music
Private Citizen, Inc.
Center for Biological Diversity
No FEAR Coalition
Director Citizens for Environmental Safeguards
Progressive Democrats of America
Customs Employees Against Discrimination Association
American Association for Justice