This is how a rally is done …

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. 


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  • Sue.
    I read your blog regularly. We agree 99.9% of the time. The .01 percent is probably over your feelings about the Floral Wholesaler who says he supports equality in the worplace but doesn't want to have to rent a room in house to someone who has a different sexual orientation. The HUDDLER is a major advocate of property owners rights. We all have the right to live as we chose.
    BUT ANYHOW. You stated you would love to be able to organize “direct care providers in the human services”… what kind of work is it that you do exactly? Home care? MH-MR?
    The HUDDLER has some friends working on similar projects. Feel free to email me if you prefer.
    Keep up the good work over here. You are my link to the LGBTQ community.

  • That's a pretty serious source of disagreement and I stand by my statement that I won't patronize a business that has such a fearful perception of homosexuality.
    I don't want to organize people. I would appreciate if the resource were in place to allow human service workers to be organized in general. For example, the person who provides in home care to my 92 year old grandmother. I pay an hourly rate out of pocket which is pricey. I know that the agency is not raking in the big bucks once they cover overhead and his salary. No one wins in this scenario. But he works hard and deserves better. I'm not blaming the agency b/c they do a good job. The system itself sucks.
    I'm speaking in a global sense on this one, huddler. Society does not perceive people with the character of “other” as being worthwhile investments of resources, period. We need to invest in human beings and that transcends the prototypical middle class family with kids, jobs, decent health and decent mental health, etc.
    Thank you for the kind words.

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