For Immediate Release

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Erica Smiley (646) 467-1867

Workers Face Unfair Obstacles in Union Elections

Jobs with Justice Testifies before National Labor Relations Board

WASHINGTON - Sarita Gupta, Executive Director of Jobs with Justice, testified this morning during the National Labor Rights Board during their two-day hearings, supporting the proposed NLRB rules changes of the procedure for union representation elections.  Under the current rules, union elections are often postponed for months, years, and sometimes never happen at all after employers find minor excuses to stall and intimidate workers.

Gupta told the board that the proposed changes protect the election rights of workers from common corporate stalling tactics saying that employees go through “daily captive audience meetings, one on ones, the threat of being fired, and other anti-union tactics.”

In one example from the Sisters of Jesus Crucified in Brockton, a nursing home in Massachusetts, workers were told that a vote for the union was a vote against the church.  As a result, although 80% of the workers signed cards seeking a union, only 35% ultimately voted for a union when the election finally happened. 

These hearings contribute to the discourse around the recession and its effects on Americans. Gupta asserted, “Wall Street reaps record profits while out neighbors lose their jobs and homes. Now, more than ever, workers need good jobs that can support a family. We believe that giving workers a fair chance to vote for union representation is essential to bringing stability to communities and rebuilding our middle class.”

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Jobs with Justice is a national network of local coalitions that bring together labor unions, faith groups, community organizations, and student activists to fight for working people. It works with 47 coalitions in 24 states across the country. More information can be found at their website www.jwj.org.

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