Over 200 people packed a local church to support the Employee Free Choice Act. Both our Mayor and Chief Executive were happy to speak out affirming labor, even while remaining mum on equality. Sigh. Good for Pittsburgh United and related organizations who are doing excellent work on an important issue. They make it happen. We just make it look like something happened. View from the BurghChair has the scoop:
If you don't know, the EFCA would change the law to allow workers to choose which form to use to create a union. They still could choose to use a private ballot election or use a card-check option. Right now, the company chooses which option and almost always forces a private ballot instead of a card-check. This is important because the private ballot allows time for the company to put together an anti-union campaign and use intimidation against employees who want to form a union.
Also, be sure to visit Pride At Work for more information on the intersection of labor and equality. An interesting fact sheet is attached to this post.
To be clear, I am very pleased with the event (which I did not attend) and support labor. I wear a UNITE HERE button on my jacket. I grew up with a unionized father and I wish we could find a way to unionize direct care providers in the human services as demonstration of the value we should have for people providing essentail services to people we should value.
It has been five days since I tried to follow up with Ravenstahl and Onorato on LGBT equality issues. Onorato's people have not responded at all. Ravenstahl's press secretary sent a non-answer. I have to disclose to you that I've contacted my Council reps and that hasn't helped move them toward an answer. A local Dem committeeperson informed me that he put in a word and that, too, failed to generate any response.
Discrimination protection in the workplace is a labor issue, a perspective that labor unions get even if our elected officials do not.