Monday, August 07, 2006


Why Won't Sue Kelly Support Labor?

The labor movement has been under constant attack from the Republican agenda, thanks in large part to folks like Sue Kelly. You may have heard the ad campaign that touts unions as the people who brought you the weekend and the 40 hour work week. Well, organized labor fights for alot more than that. Aside from legislation that affects them directly, labor also fights hard for laws to benefit and protect every American worker. Laws regarding workplace safety, ergonomic standards, minimum wage increases, affordable health care for all, affordable prescription drugs and other vital subjects have been supported vigorously by labor unions.

There is currently legislation in Congress that would help level the playing field for unions. Titled the Employee Free Choice Act, this bill would allow employees to organize by a simple majority of workers signing authorization cards, provide for mediation and arbitration when an impasse is reached as well as provide workers more protections from employers who punish them for trying to organize. This Act currently has 200 co-sponsors in the House including every single member of New York's congressional delegation, Democrats and Republicans - with one exception, our very own Sue Kelly.

I sent an email to Sue Kelly specifically asking her to join New York Representatives Ackerman, Bishop, Boehlert, Crowley, Engel, Fossella, Higgins, Hinchey, Israel, King, Kuhl, Lowey, Maloney, McCarthy, McHugh, McNulty, Meeks, Nadler, Owens, Rangel, Serrano, Slaughter, Sweeney, Towns, Velasquez, Walsh and Weiner as co-sponsors of this bill. To my surprise, I did receive a response from Sue's people. However, I wasn't surprised at the mealy mouthed wording of the email written by someone obviously has no interest in helping organized labor. Her email mentioned nothing about my request for her to sign on as a co-sponsor and was about as non-committal as can be.

As also evidenced by the way Sue sold out the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Sue Kelly is no friend of organized labor and all Democratic primary candidates in NY-19 would be wise to contact all labor leaders in the district and point this out to them.

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