As an organization grounded upon the advocacy of civil justice, CAIR-Chicago – along with other chapters nationwide – has partnered with Interfaith Worker Justice to rally support for the The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). The act (HR. 1409/S.560) is a pending bill that was introduced for the 111th Congress by Representative George Miller (D-CA) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) on March 10, 2009.
The goal of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is to eradicate the veto power employers hold over the card-signing method of obtaining majority votes needed to organize a union. This parallels with some workers’ hopes to restore the ability to form unions without threats of harassment and intimidation. If enacted, the proposed legislation would establish penalties for employers who violate provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when workers seek to form a union, and set in place new mediation and arbitration procedures for disputes.
While CAIR focuses on advocacy and empowerment on behalf of the Muslim community, CAIR’s mission is also found in the protection of civil liberties and promotion of justice for every person. The rights in question span across ethnic, religious, and political lines. CAIR-Chicago Government Affairs Coordinator Reema Ahmad elaborated on the importance of this effort on the part of the organization, saying “…Muslims have just as much a responsibility to support this Act as any other faith community in the country. Islam calls on us to work for justice on the part of all segments of society.”
Since April, CAIR-Chicago has organized efforts ranging from calling active volunteers to gathering signed postcards to urge the support from Illinois Senators, and most recently attending an Employee Free Choice Act forum in Arlington Heights. The forum was attended by community activists, labor unions, and members of local government, highlighting the inclusive nature of this legislative bill.
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