Thursday, April 21, 2005

Labor Gets a Victory in Nebraska

by Kyle Michaelis
Seems a 4 year-old injustice is finally going to be rectified thanks to a too-long-delayed decision by the National Labor Relations Board. The Lincoln Journal-Star reports:
The National Labor Relations Board has ordered a new union representation election at Nebraska Beef in Omaha after citing the company for labor practice violations during a vote four years ago.

The decision upheld a hearing officer's findings invalidating the results of a 2001 election in which workers rejected representation by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union on a 452-345 vote....

The labor board found Nebraska Beef — described as the country's largest privately held meatpacking plant — "engaged in improper interrogation of employees regarding their union sympathies" before the 2001 election and improperly prohibited employees from displaying union paraphernalia.

The board cited a plant supervisor's isolated threat to a worker that he would be fired because he was going to vote for the union as a factor contributing to its decision.

Union officials were elated by the action.

"It took a long time, but we are determined," Local 271 President Donna McDonald of Omaha said. "We haven't given up on those workers. We told them we were there for the long haul."
Hats off to UFCW Local 271 for keeping up the fight, even in this age (especially this presidency) when workingmen and women are treated like children to be seen but not heard at the dinner table.

If victories like this are possible even when all the cards are stacked in big business' favor, who knows what tomorrow might bring for those who make this country great by working their asses off and only ask for their fair share in return. Sad as it may sound, in capitalist society a worker is nothing more than a single input of labor. The only way for that worker, that "single input of labor", to make a stand and be heard is to stand together with all his brothers and sisters, speaking with one voice.

E Pluribus Unum...In Unity Is Strength...this is the idea from which America was born. This is the idea that makes America great.


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