Saturday, May 30, 2009

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Targeted

Across America, Jobs with Justice activists are hitting local Chambers of Commerce on a national program designed to take support away from the anti-worker drive being coordinated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In Dallas on May 29, about six unions were represented, along with students and religious leaders, on a picket line outside the offices of one of the Chamber offices in the area. Coincidentally, they happened to be housed within the Bank of America building. BOA also has a reputation for working against workers' rights.

"Chamber of Commerce, no more lies," they yelled, "Workers have to organize!" The press packet explained that National Jobs with Justice charges the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with misrepresenting the truth about the Employee Free Choice Act. They are pushing the idea that it would "take away the workers' right to a secret ballot." As if the big corporations were suddenly worried about workers' rights!

The truth is that the Employee Free Choice Act would not cancel the old law, which does include a secret ballot election, as part of a process that can be dragged out for yearrs while the bosses intimidate and/or fire the union activists! The new Act would allow the workers to choose between the old law and the newer, faster "card check" method, which would organize unions quickly and without painful delays. Card check is available now, but is the bosses' choice, not the workers'.

Dallas City Councilwoman Pauline Medrano came to say some encouraging words to the picketers. She signed a petition card for the Employee Free Choice Act. Communications Workers (CWA) union members presented her with two books containing tens of thousands of petitions for decent contract negotiations with AT&T. CWA organizers talked to activists about their union's "adopt an overpass" program. In it, union activists display Employee Free Choice Banners from highway overpasses.

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