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Worker Tells Senators ‘Why’ The PRO Act ‘Is A Must’ - “We’ve Been Overworked, We’ve Been Injured On The Job, Disrespected By Supervisors And Forced To Work In Bad Conditions. We Want A Union To Help Protect Us.”

Published Tuesday, July 27, 2021
by Mark Gruenberg/Via People’s World
Worker Tells Senators ‘Why’ The PRO Act ‘Is A Must’ - “We’ve Been Overworked, We’ve Been Injured On The Job, Disrespected By Supervisors And Forced To Work In Bad Conditions. We Want A Union To Help Protect Us.”

(McCOMB, OHIO) - For 20 of the 33 years she’s worked at Hearthside Foods, an industrial bakery in McComb, Ohio that turns out cookies, crackers and candy bars for big firms such as Nabisco and Kellogg’s, Gracie Heldman has campaigned for a Union - specifically the Bakery, Confectionery and Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTWGM) - there.

Three times in 20 years, Heldman and her Pro-Union Colleagues collected enough signed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Union Election Authorization Cards to demand a vote at the 1,200-Worker plant.

Once, they got 65% of Workers to sign up.

Hearthside brought in Union-Busters.

It forced Workers to attend anti-Union harangues in one-sided “captive audience” meetings, under pain of discipline if they didn’t.

Once, Hearthside illegally fired seven Union Supporters.

During another drive, it even threatened, also illegally, to close up shop if the Workers went union, Heldman told U.S. Senators earlier this month.

The bullying, intimidation, harassment, labor law-breaking and interrogation by Union-Busters or supervisors while Workers were on the job succeeded.

Enough people got scared, especially by the firings, that when the votes occurred, after drawn-out anti-Union campaigns by the bosses and their “consultants,” BCTGM lost.

Heldman brought her story, which is typical of what happens to Workers during Organizing Drives, to the Senate Labor Committee’s hearing on the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, the wide-ranging Pro-Worker Labor Law Reform.

It would outlaw such abuses, force the Union-Busters’ shady practices into the open - and do much more.

Democratic Senators on the evenly divided panel gave Heldman and other Pro-Worker witnesses - former NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pierce, a former Labor Lawyer from Buffalo, and Economic Policy Institute Policy (EPI) Director Heidi Shierholz - a sympathetic hearing.

But not so from the Republican senators, even though a new Hart Research poll shows a plurality of rank-and-file GOP voters (45% for-40% against), including a plurality of Trumpites (45%-41%), back the PRO Act and its goals.

The poll’s overall national margin for the PRO Act is 63%-to-25%.

Democrats supported it by an 87%-to-6% score and Independents clocked in at 60%-to-26% in 4,114 calls stretched over the nine states it covered.

Scores were almost as lopsided in those “battleground” states too.

Besides making it easier to organize, the PRO Act would negate so-called Right-To-Work (for less) Laws, increase fines for Labor Law-breaking and legalize Card-Check Recognition when Unions present signed NLRB Election Authorization Cards - Independently Verified, from a Worker majority.

It also forces Union-Busters and their spending and clients into the open.

And, it mandates binding arbitration when bosses won’t bargain a first contract.

Heldman described the obstacles Workers face to Unionizing and she also gave a simple summary of why Workers want Unions - which, other polls show, a majority do.

To Continue Reading This Labor News Story, Go To: www.peoplesworld.org/article/worker-tells-senators-her-story-of-why-the-pro-act-is-a-must/?fbclid=IwAR2puZoSgYE9MHLyZFiuEfdGxzB31a75kMlkygdUQHD_cnA49g5z45ISLnU

 

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