5/31/08

Rep. Louise Slaughter, New York DINO

Related story: "Public opinion survey on card-check"

Democrat wants to end secret-ballot union elections

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter was back in the district today, talking about reforming the process by which employees join unions. Speaking at the First Unitarian Church on Winton Road, Slaughter says that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) process "doesn't work."

"It is clear that the overall policies enforced by the NLRB do not adequately protect American workers' rights to organize and negotiate - adequate doesn't cover it - they simply don't do it. We in Western New York are all too well aware of the potential shortcomings of the current labor laws in providing for a free and fair choice regarding union representation."

Advocates for reforming the labor board's process liken it to elections in which one candidate is not allowed to campaign in their own district or meet with the constituency.

Instead, Slaughter is backing the Employee Free Choice Act. She says that legislation would simplify joining a union for workers.

"It allows them to more easily join together to bargain for better wages and benefits and working conditions, without fear of being harassed, intimidated, reassigned or even fired. It closes the loopholes in the current labor laws, and minimizes the potential for abuse by establishing a card check process, and a union is certified when a majority of workers sign the authorization cards."

The event Friday was sponsored by Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. That group has called a boycott against the Rochester Plaza Hotel, claiming that the hotel is refusing to negotiate with employees about unionization on a fair basis.

The hotel's management says they're complying with the NLRB process. The clergy argue that process is unjust, and that criteria determined by the community should set the tone for negotiation between workers and management.

A spokesperson for the Rochester Plaza Hotel was out of town, and unavailable to comment.

(publicbroadcasting.net)

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