On December 9th and 10th, Texans get a chance to take the offensive against big corporations and their friends in government. International Human Rights Day, December 10, will be celebrated all over the world. Here in the U.S., unionists will lead activities to regain our right to organize.
To strengthen protections for workers' freedom to choose a union, the union movement worked with a bipartisan coalition in creating the historic Employee Free Choice Act. Introduced into Congress in April 2005, the act (S. 842 and H.R. 1696) would require employers to recognize a union after a majority of workers signs cards authorizing union representation. It also would provide for mediation and arbitration of first-contract disputes and authorize stronger penalties for violation of the law when workers seek to form a union.
Here are some of the Texas events:
Austin 12/10/2005, 08:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Sponsor: Metropolitan Airport Workers Association
Location: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Description: To inform Airport Workers and TSA Screeners that MAWA and the United Steelworkers stand behind and with the Federal Screeners of our nations airports. Our goal is to inform the Airport Workers throughout our nation that there is representation and advocacy for the Federal Screeners and Airport Workers of America.
Contact: Michael E. Tierney (512) 249-6784 email@example.com
Corpus Christi Press conference rally at the CWA hall
Houston Rally/March 12/10/2005, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Sponsor: Harris County AFL-CIO Council/Transportation Workers Union
Location: Mickey Leland Federal Bldg, 1919 Smith St. 77002
Description: The Transportation Workers Union, Local 582 representing Continental Airlines' Fleet Service Workers and the Bus Drivers of Cy-Fair and Humble School Districts need support in their efforts to form a Union. Unions and community are urged to attend the rally in support of these workers and of all workers' rights to form unions and bargain collectively
Contact: Richard C. Shaw/John Bland - TWU
San Antonio Rally/March 12/10/2005, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Sponsor: San Antonio CLC, BTC, IBEW
Location: Hemisfair Park, Downtown San Antonio, (South Alamo and E. Nueva)
Description: Union members, community activists, religious leaders and elected officials will gather to hear workers' accounts of employer interference in organizing campaigns. Dec 10,2005 will be proclaimed "International Human Rights-Workers Rights are Human Rights Day" in San Antonio Texas. All elected officials and candidates for office in attendance will be asked to sign a pledge to support our efforts to win legislative change and ultimately see the passage of the EFCA. Scheduled to speak are U.S. Rep Charlie Gonzlaez, Former Cognressman Ciro Rodriguez, David Van Os, candidate TX State Attorney General, TX AFL-CIO Sec-Tres Becky Moeller, City Councilwoman/Mayor Pro Tem Elena Guajardo, Religious leaders and community activists. The event will culminate with Labor's public proclamation of our resolution to win the campaign to restore workers freedom to form a union.
Contact: Alicia Garza/ Bob Salvatore/Craig Parkman 210 226 8447 firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas City: Human Rights Day Event - December 10, 2005 9:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.
COLLEGE OF THE MAINLAND, TEXAS CITY, TEXASContact: Lee Medley VP Galveston Co.
Central Labor Council United Steelworkers 13-1
Wichita Falls Delphi rally. A bus will leave UAW 276 at 10 AM Friday, Dec 9:
STOP THE GREED!
Delphi Corporation, the largest U.S. auto
parts supplier, filed bankruptcy in an effort to slash the hard earned wages
and benefits of its American employees.† Delphi
is seeking to join a growing list of major American companies that are using
bankruptcy to void their contracts with their workers, both active and retired,
while rewarding the mismanagement of top executives.† A recent study predicts the economic impact
from Delphi Corp.ís bankruptcy will be at least $10 billion in earning losses
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY EVENT
"America's middle class is shrinking fast. Poverty and job loss are up. Paychecks and pensions are down. Major American companies like GM and Delphi are shedding jobs. And everybody worries about health care.
" America's workers are ready to speak out for change. More than half of Americans who don't already have a union say they'd join one tomorrow if given the chance. A union contract is the best economic uplift program for working people in our nation's history. Unions mean good jobs, and good jobs mean strong communities.
" Yet when workers come together to improve their lives through unions, they find they've been robbed of their right to do so. Employers routinely violate workers' rights, and the labor law is too weak to stop them. Nearly all private-sector employers fight their workers' efforts to form unions, according to research by Kate Bronfenbrenner of Cornell. A quarter even illegally fire workers who stand up for a union. Even when workers manage to win their union, they never get a contract in one out of three cases. At the same time, the Bush Administration is trying to steal collective bargaining rights from federal workers, and major companies are trying to use the bankruptcy process to get rid of their workers' unions, giving them free rein to slash wages and benefits.
" Things have gotten so bad that Human Rights Watch - - the internationally-acclaimed human rights group - - has red flagged workers' freedom to form unions as a top human rights issue. It's a human right defended in every other major industrialized democracy.
" This December 10 - - on International Human Rights Day -- tens of thousands of union members, community activists, religious leaders, elected leaders and others are calling for change. We will unite together in over a hundred actions - - in the U.S. and around the world - - to defend workers' freedom to form unions and win union contracts to improve their lives, and to rebuild America's middle class.
" We'll speak out against the push to Wal-Martize good jobs - - like those at Delphi and GM.
" And, we will join together to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which would restore workers' rights to freely choose a union and bargain a fair contract. It will be the biggest mobilization in history on workers' freedom to form unions.
Tips on Delphi / GM
"When workers' freedom to form unions is under attack, so is middle class America. Just look at what's happening at Delphi and GM where unions are the last line of defense for family-supporting jobs
"Delphi is attempting to use the bankruptcy process to slash wages and benefits for workers and then award company stock and nearly $90 million in cash bonuses to managers and executives. They want the courts to tear up the union contract, to dump the workers' pensions, to cut their health insurance, to pay WalMart wages and to get rid of their union neutrality agreements. They want to roll back the clock on workers' rights.
"GM has announced 30,000 layoffs. Instead of forcing workers to shoulder the company's woes, management should focus on building a successful business model.
" On December 10, we will stand in solidarity with our union brothers
and sisters at GM and Delphi Corporation as they stand up for their futures
and their families' futures.
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