Friday, May 8, 2009


The Benton County Democratic Women’s Club is hosting Amy Niehouse from the AFL-CIO at the Bentonville Clarion Hotel & Convention Center on Monday, May 18th. Ms. Niehouse will discuss the proposed Federal legislation known as the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would allow workers to gain union representation if more than half of a group of employees sign union cards.

The proposed legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate but has not yet gained the support of the 60 Senate votes needed to prevent a filibuster.

Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln (D) announced early last month that she “[c]annot support and will not support moving it (EFCA) forward in its current form.1"
Ms. Niehouse will review the proposed legislation and will also discuss the benefits to workers and communities when workers choose to organize a union.

Ms. Niehouse, a Senior Organizer Trainer, is a member of the AFL-CIO’s Organizing Institute. She has been organizing unions as well as teaching workers how to organize for 25 years.

Although the Institute is based in Washington, D.C., Ms. Niehouse travels all over the country to help workers. She has been assigned by the union to the Northwest Arkansas area and is currently helping workers in Little Rock, Fort Smith and Fayetteville

According to the AFL-CIO’s website, the mission of the Organizing Institute is “to help build the labor movement primarily through identifying, training and developing organizers from our membership, staff, community and college campuses across the country. The Organizing Institute is committed to continuously producing organizers who are enthusiastic, energetic and armed with skills to help workers fight to form and join unions.”

Reservations for the 11:15 a.m. lunch buffet can be made by contacting Sharon Carter before Wednesday, May 13 at or by calling at 464-7531. Tickets are $12. Limited seating is available for those not having the buffet.

The Bentonville Clarion Hotel and Convention Center is located at 211 S.E. Walton Blvd.

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