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Obama: Make Employee Free Choice Act Law of the Land (Mar 3, 2007)

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 07:03 PM
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Obama: Make Employee Free Choice Act Law of the Land (Mar 3, 2007) /

Obama: Make Employee Free Choice Act Law of the Land

by James Parks, Mar 3, 2007

Downtown Chicago turned green today as nearly 2,000 green-shirted AFSCME members, waving signs and banners proclaiming Its Time for Justice and Its Time for Respect, rallied in the Windy City in support of the Employee Free Choice Act and the 10,000 health care and support service workers fighting for justice at Resurrection Health Care (RHC).

The RHC workers struggle got a big shot in the arm from hometown Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama, elected officials and top union leaders who joined the workers for the mass rally in Chicago.

The crowd, which overflowed the ballroom of a local hotel, cheered when Obama declared the House passage of the Employee Free Choice Act on Thursday and

said loud and clear that if most workers in an organization want a union, theyll get a union. And now were gonna make sure the Senate passes the Employee Free Choice Act too. And then well let the White House know that the working men and women of America believe its time to make this the law of the land.

Resurrection workers have been fighting to win a voice at work with AFSCME Council 31 for four years in the face of intense management opposition. RHC management has threatened, harassed and intimidated employees, including firing eight union supporters. Employees are seeking union representation because of concerns about the impact that the hospital chains rapid expansion has had on working conditions and patient care.

Shirley Brown, a housekeeper at Resurrections Westlake Hospital, says management intimidates workers to keep them from joining the union. She told Chicagos WLS-TV the Employee Free Choice Act would stop a lot of the harassment.

Employees would have a choice, they wont have to be afraid because they want a union. They wont have to worry about being harassed or intimidated.

AFSCME President Gerald McEntee told the crowd that House passage of the Employee Free Choice Act was a first step toward giving workers at Resurrection and around the country the freedom to decide for themselves whether to join a union without employers veto over their fundamental rights.

Whats happened at Resurrection is a perfect example of why we need to fix our nations broken labor laws. Its really simple: workers in the United States of America should have the freedom to join a union if they want to. The freedom to improve their lives, the freedom to lift themselves up without getting harassed and intimidated by the boss without getting fired.

And when the boss gets out of line, the law should be on the side of the workers. Thats what the workers of America need. Thats what the thousands of housekeepers, nurses, technical employees, and cafeteria staff of Resurrection need.

McEntee presented the Resurrection campaign with a check for $1 million on behalf of AFSCME.

FULL story at link.

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