Friday, June 8, 2007

Restoring the Right to Organize

The Morning News provides coverage of today's informational picket at the Little Rock office of U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln. "Dozens of union members and nonunion workers alike gathered here Friday outside the office of Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., to urge the senator to support union-backed federal legislation that would ease union-forming practices. Led by the Arkansas AFL-CIO State Federation, the group of steel workers, plumbers, machinists, government workers, communication workers and others delivered more than 6,000 postcards urging Lincoln to support the Employee Free Choice Act."

"We're looking for the right to be organized without being interfered with and to have a voice in a work place," Alan Hughes, the AFL-CIO president, said during Friday's demonstration. He later used a bull horn to lead the group in chanting, "What do we want? Free choice! When do we want it? Now!" The act would increase penalties for employers that commit unfair labor practices as well as provide arbitration if labor and management fail to agree on a first contract.

America’s working people are struggling to make ends meet these days and our middle class is disappearing. The best opportunity working people have to get ahead economically is by uniting to bargain with their employers for better wages and benefits. Recent research has shown that some 60 million U.S. workers would join a union if they could.

But the current system for forming unions and bargaining is broken. Every day, corporations deny workers the freedom to decide for themselves whether to form unions to bargain for a better life. They routinely intimidate, harass, coerce and even fire workers who try to form unions and bargain for economic well-being.

The Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041), supported by a bipartisan coalition in Congress, would level the playing field for workers and employers and help rebuild America’s middle class. It would restore workers’ freedom to choose a union. Republican Congressman John Boozman voted against it. All Arkansas Democrats in our Washington delegation have announce their support for the bill--except Blanche Lincoln.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So the fact that I don't actually get to cast a private vote for establishing a union, or the fact that I will not get to actually vote on my first contract (thanks to the actual letter of the act), is a good thing?

I want to organize, but I don't want everyone knowing that I did, or didn't, sign a post card when my shop organizer sat down with me.