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On June 19, North Texas Jobs with Justice did our part in a nationwide fight to preserve democracy and the right to organize in America. The AFL-CIO reported that there were 100 public events around the nation, and that 4,500 workers and allies turned out in Washington DC to put the heat on the U.S. Senate to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. A vote is expected in the next few days.
American democracy is at a crossroads. The agonizing decline of American rights and freedoms is being challenged in the U.S. Senate by the Employee Free Choice Act, which passed the U.S. House resoundingly. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was a co-sponsor. If the Act becomes law, America may see a new flourishing of rights and freedoms. If it fails, the stakes become even more crucial, and the fight will burn brighter and longer.
Dallas progressives gathered at 7 PM in the Fellowship Hall behind Munger Place United Methodist Church, 5200 Bryan at Munger in East Dallas. Reverend L. Charles Stovall welcomed the group and introduced our distinguished panel for the Jobs with Justice Workers Rights Board. Panelists were (left to right):
Hobie Hukill, an Executive Board member of the Alliance for Excellence in Education. Contact: (214) 543-4698
Sister Nancy Sullivan of the Dallas Diocese. She specializes in justice issues. Contact: 214-528-2240
Reverend Ed Middleton of First Community Church. Contact 214-823-2117
Dr. Ron Wilhelm, an educator from North Texas University and a founding member of the Progressive Christian Alliance.
Attorney Ed Cloutman, who is well known to Dallas progressives as the original filer of the Dallas school desegregation case. He has years of experience with labor law and has represented a number of unions who were forced to file suit against employers because of unfair labor practices. Contact 214-939-98222
Union organizers and activists provided testimony about how difficult it is under the labor laws originating in the early twentieth century, and cruelly distorted since the Reagan years began, for American workers to exercise their right to organize. The speakers relayed firsthand testimony of employer tactics, both illegal and legal, to deny rights to their employees. Most commonly, the employers delay the drawn-out process while they bribe some of their workers, fire others, and intimidate almost everybody.
Testimony came from:
The Communications Workers of America. Contact 214-638-3270 (Tony Shaffer and Bonnie Mathias)
IATSE (Stage Handlers) Carl Labry. contact 214-742-4741
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Randy Thorn and Robert Villanueva. Contact (214) 398-0661
National Nurses Organizing Committee. Rossia Avery. Contact 817.298.1554
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1000,. Rudy Anderson contact (817) 421-1003
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 540. Prudencio Aguilar contact (214) 328-3515
United Steelworkers. Dan Pedroza. Contact (214) 760-7422
UNITE-HERE sent a special delegation from Houston, but they were delayed by weather and traffic problems.
Senator Cornyn declined his invitation. Although we came from many different organizations, the group was drawn together by our common concern and the heartfelt expressions of everybody who spoke. We ended with a series of announcements of upcoming events from ACORN, Ernest McMillan, the National Nurses Organizing Committee, and others. The events will be posted on this site as information comes in.
On June 20, Bonnie Mathias, Hobie Hukill, and Gene Lantz conducted "right to organize" discussions on talk radio KNON 89.3 FM from 7 to 9 AM.
Everyone is encouraged to contact their senators. One way to do it is through this web page:
It is also possible to reach public officials from the home page of this web site.
As we fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (S. 1041) in the Senate and in coming days, we all are keeping in mind the bottom line for passage of the bill: America's workers. North Texas Jobs with Justice is dedicated to fighting for the Employee Free Choice Act from now until the day it becomes the law of the land. We will speak for it at every opportunity, we will petition for it, we will lobby for it, and we will work to organize a social movement to overcome all resistance!
Love & solidarity
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