NLRB rule a positive step for workers

One of the fundamental rights we all share as Americans is the right to vote – to vote for our elected officials and to vote whether to form a union.

But for too long workers who have exercised their right to join together to raise standards on the job and reach for the American Dream have been met with intense intimidation, bullying and even firings.

Well, on June 21, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board took a stand for working families across the country by issuing a rule that would remove bureaucratic barriers that employers use to delay union elections after employees indicate their desire to form a union at the workplace.

We’ve created a petition thanking them for the positive step they’re taking for Americans hoping to create a better life for themselves during these difficult economic times.

Add your name with others across the country who have signed the letter and we’ll be sure to deliver it to the NLRB next week: http://action.seiu.org/page/s/nlrb

What are corporations afraid of?

The Board will almost certainly come under attack by the same corporate interests who wrecked our economy while profiting mightily at the cost of millions of American jobs.

You remember the corporate rhetoric from their past campaigns against unions, right?

“The demise of a civilization.”

“Businesses are hearing about it and they’re ready to riot in the streets.”

Let the Board know that working families stand with them by signing a letter of support and we’ll deliver it for you. Sign and follow our progress here.

We’ve set an ambitious goal of 10,000 petitions signed in the next seven days. Between SEIU members and allies, it’s a goal we can meet that will send a powerful message to the Board.

This is a very important campaign, and we’ll be in touch as the debate begins.

In solidarity,

Mary Kay Henry
President, SEIU

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This rule would have helped workers like Ann Anderson, a Registered Nurse from Naples, Florida who, along with 900 of her co-workers, filed for a union election in August 2007. Her employer hired a union-busting consultant that used every legal maneuver at its disposal to delay the election. During the delay, the employer was cited by the NLRB for breaking the law by intimidating and harassing pro-union workers.

In the end, the employer managed to obstruct the process for nearly four years and in March of 2011, Ann and her co-workers gave up without ever having the chance to vote.

Ann said, “We followed the law. We made it clear that we wanted to have a union vote. But it turns out the decision wasn’t ours to make–the hospital was able to use expensive legal maneuvers to make sure our vote was significantly delayed while it undertook a hard-hitting campaign to convince nurses that we shouldn’t have a union.”

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SEIU Press Release: June 21, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a proposed rule that would potentially remove some frivolous litigation in union elections, Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement:

“In just the first six months of this year, we have witnessed unprecedented assaults on workers’ rights in states across the country. Now, the NLRB is taking a positive step for workers who want to exercise their fundamental right to decide for themselves whether to form a union.

“Too many workers have seen their efforts to join together on the job defeated by costly litigation and delaying tactics by their employer. Many never get the chance to make their voices heard at the ballot box. This rule change would protect a right that is central to our democracy – the right to vote.

“When Americans want to make their voices heard –whether in state capitols or at work–they should be able to without fear of retaliation.

“Don’t be surprised when right wing politicians and corporate interest groups make outrageous claims about what this rule change would do. These are the same politicians who are attacking workers’ rights around the country and the same corporations that are reaping record profits. America’s economic and tax policies are making them rich and they want to keep them that way.

“It’s time to restore some measure of balance and fairness to the system, starting with making sure workers have the right to vote whether to form a union without unnecessary delays.”

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2 Responses to “NLRB rule a positive step for workers”

  1. SEIU Local 521 says:

    “Workers have to walk through broken glass on their hands and knees just to gain the same basic right that every wealthy CEO has – the right to have the terms of their employment set out in an enforceable contract,” said Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, during a speech on the floor of the Senate this morning.

  2. SEIU Local 521 says:

    “Ideologues will undoubtedly criticize and scaremonger over this modest, commonsense proposal. In reality, the proposal will reduce costly litigation for all parties and reduce unnecessary conflict in the workplace,” said Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “CEOs should not fear a level playing field or fairer elections.”


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