ALA-APA supports the Employee Free Choice Act
Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director, ALA Washington Office
The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) would like to take this opportunity to announce its support of H.R. 800, the Employee Free Choice Act.
Formed for the purpose of promoting “the mutual professional interests of librarians and other library workers,” the ALA-APA is a strong advocate of workers’ rights, and protecting the right to form unions is a cause we strongly support.
By being part of a union, library workers gain local allies who can help to achieve pay equity and better salaries. This is especially important in public libraries where the union brings greater power to win budget increases from local governments. Unions are one of many ways library workers may improve salaries.
The Employee Free Choice Act goes a long way toward protecting library employees who form unions: it levels the playing field by strengthening penalties against offending employers, requiring mediation and arbitration to help employers and employees reach a first contract in a reasonable period of time, and permitting workers to form a union through “majority sign-up,” a process in which workers present signed authorization cards as demonstration of their choice to belong to a union.
Librarians are the gateways to our country’s information and an essential resource for education and literacy. The ALA-APA thanks you for introducing the Employee Free Choice Act, which will protect those library employees who wish to form unions, and we join you in hoping for its success.