Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Unions want "A Fair Chance"

At a community meeting in downtown Pittsburgh this morning, local union workers and leaders discussed the importance of unions in today’s economy. There is no question that the economic crisis has left middle class families in a tough bind financially, said Keystone Research Economist Mark Price. Price explained that the decline in labor unions that has progressed for 36 years has adversely affected middle class workers. Price noted times of broadly distributed prosperity, from the 1940s to 1973, were also times when unions had a strong grip in the labor force. If the Employee Free Labor Act passes into law, he said it will give unions more strength, and therefore make the middle class stronger.

John Vignovic, a local union member, said the banks and the auto industry are asking for more money. He asked about what middle class workers want. “We’re asking for a fair chance,” he said.

The Employee Free Choice Act would enable workers to negotiate better benefits, wages and working conditions with their employers. It is intended to give workers a freedom to choose for themselves whether or not to join a union.

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