letter to the editor

Protecting the right to organize

Mon, 09/13/2021 - 3:00pm

Dear Editor:

The American worker has endured a steady decline in the standard of living since the late 1970s. Wages have been stagnant, pensions disappearing, health costs rising and spiraling college costs has put the hope for a better world for the next generation out of reach. At the same time, people who own stock have never been better off. Those who owned stocks over the same period have enjoyed average annual gains of more than 9%. In short, our American dream has become a romantic fantasy.

This decline has tracked the decline of union membership. Americans have had a legislative advocate in the unions whether they are members or not. The impact of union advocacy on labor law can be seen everywhere from the 40 hour work week, child labor laws, workplace safety laws, civil rights in the workplace, age discrimination laws, family medical leave, and much more. These gains for the American worker are under constant attack. We need to reverse this trend and restore power to the workers. That is what the “PRO Act (HR 842) is all about.

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act protects the basic right to join a union by instituting meaningful, enforceable penalties for companies and executives that violate workers’ rights. It also expands workers’ collective bargaining rights, closes loopholes that corporations use to exploit workers and strengthens workers’ access to fair union elections and requires corporations to respect the results.

There is a saying in politics; “if you are not at the table, you are on the menu.” For decades, the American worker has been slowly edged from the table while Wall Street ate his lunch. It is time for this to end.

Please take the time to call Senator Collins (207) 622-8414 and Senator King (207) 622-8292 to urge thier support for the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.

Fred W. Nehring