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Fired IBEW Member Speaks On the Need for the Employee Free Choice Act

April 25, 2007

Denver, Colo. Local 68 member Daniel Luevano knows first hand why workers need the Employee Free Choice Act. Fired in 2005 for trying to organize his workplace, Luevano was in Washington, D.C., last week to speak out in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act.

IBEW Local 68 Member Daniel Luevano Talks About the Importance of the Employee Free Choice Act

The legislation, currently under consideration by the U.S. Senate after it was passed by the House of Representatives in March, would remove many of the obstacles workers face in exercising their right to organize a union in their workplace. Under current labor law workers who sign up to join a union must wait months, sometimes years, until the National Labor Relations Board sponsors a workplace election. Under the Employee Free Choice Act, all workers need to do to be recognized as a union is to sign up the majority of their workplace.    

Luevano Talks to West Wing Star Bradley Whitford About His Experience Trying to Form a Union

Working without a raise for over six years, Luevano and most of his co-workers at Ries Electric signed up with Local 68. The boss refused to negotiate and targeted union workers, Luevano in particular, for intimidation. “He called us all into the back-room individually and interrogated us about who had signed cards…he became very angry and yelled at me. He threatened to fire me and all my co-workers if we formed our union,“ said Luevano. A week later, Luevano was fired. Local 68 managed to get him reinstated, but the scare tactics worked. In National Labor Relations Board supervised elections, the vote was a tie which meant Ries’s employees would still be denied representation.

Luevano and Judge Greg Mathis Talk About Workers Rights.

Luevano left Ries and is now proudly employed in a union shop, seeing the quality of work and better working conditions that come with an IBEW workplace. “I enjoy going to work knowing I’m being respected and I’m doing quality work,” said Luevano. But Luevano also knows that with fair labor laws his old workplace would have been organized too.  “We went into the situation with a majority. With (the Employee Free Choice Act) we would have won representation and (the boss) would have been forced to bargain with us right off the bat without all the intimidation,” said Luevano.

Luevano and other union members from across the country recently met with West Wing star Bradley Whitford and award winning TV Judge Greg Mathis to let them know why workers need the protections offered by the Employee Free Choice Act.  The TV stars were in the District of Columbia for the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards sponsored by workers’ advocacy group American Rights at Work . Whitford emceed the event, while Mathis was among those honored for his commitment to fair labor laws

Photos above by Jay Mallin at American Rights at Work