Turn America Around - Unions & Health Care

AFL-CIO Calls for Right to Join a Union and to Health CareIB Image

     The drug companies whine about research costs then make double-digit profits while they spend twice as much on advertising than they do on developing new drugs—straight out of your co-pays.
     The CEO responsible for the Bear Stearns financial services collapse gets a multi-million dollar walking package—guaranteed with your tax dollars—while foreclosures eat away at our neighborhoods.
     A worker writes to Local 201, “We whisper about unions here.  They tell us we’ll lose our jobs if we say “union” out loud.”  When it comes to the right to organize a union, we are living under the Taliban.
     Had enough?  Time to Turn America Around!
     The AFL-CIO, the national coalition of unions which includes our own union, the Communications Workers of America, is gearing up for an all-out effort to elect a President and Congress to change course—and then to make sure they actually do change course in 2009!
     The goal is to educate our members, friends and families on the key issues and then get them to vote in November.  The second stage is to take those issues to Congress and the new President next year, leaving nothing to chance.
     The CWA is leading the charge on health care reform and passing the Employee Free Choice Act.  We are calling for quality health care for all Americans that will “control costs” with “a strong role for government” to make it happen.
     To give the millions of workers who say they want to join a union a chance to actually do so, the Employee Free Choice Act will let a union be recognized once a majority sign cards, provide neutral arbitration to settle a first contract, and penalties for the corporate criminals who violate labor law at their whim, without the slightest fear of punishment.

 The Campaign Gets Started:

      Alex Brown, Local 201 Vice-President, has been asked by the CWA and Local 201 to lead the effort for health care in Massachusetts.  The Local 201 Legislative Committee has started talking about the campaign and to push for increased political COPE check-off for political contributions. 
     The Education Committee and the Legislative Committee are working on plans to train “one-on-one” health care warriors, in May, to take the campaigns into the Local 201 workplaces. They will be circulating “Health Care and EFCA” (Employee Free Choice Act) cards throughout the plant.  The national CWA has committed funds to train 140 activists from our Local to be organizers—we need YOU to be a Health Care Warrior.
     The North Shore Labor Council is having an “Open Meeting” to kick off the Health Care Campaign this month—Wednesday, April 26 at the Local 201 Union Hall at 7 PM.  All union members and their families are invited to attend.  Sixty union members and retirees came to a Labor Council showing of the Michael Moore movie “SiCKO” last month. 
     In May the NSLC will start going door-to-door in New Hampshire with information about the Health Care Campaign, including facts about Senator John McCain’s plan to tax your health care benefits.
     As AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka put it, “What’s happening to our economy is the predictable result of the 30 years of the conservative, neo-liberal, profit-skimming corporate policies we’ve been talking about—free trade, deregulation, privatization and de-unionization chief among them.”
     We’ll be working all Spring, all Summer, and all Fall to get rid of the free-market extremists.  Then next year we hold the feet to the fire of the new Congress and the new President.