Friday, September 4, 2009

A Story for Labor Day

Jennifer Brown - My Story

Up until February of 2009, I had never given unions or the Employee Free Choice Act much thought. Now, after a series of events that resulted in the loss of my job, I realize the importance of employees having the right to choose whether or not they want to join a union. I also realize now that there are still many rights to be won in the modern workplace.

My realization of the importance of allowing workers a choice began when the Chief Operating Officer of the company where I worked conducted a meeting about unions. He was generally negative but I just sat and listened. I didn't have a stake in the discussion one way or the other -- or so I thought.

Imagine how shocked I was to learn that some members of management considered my body language "pro-union" and warned that I'd better be on the right side. Later, working conditions deteriorated for me. After a series of negative reviews, write-ups and many tense work days, I quit rather than endure the stress.

I also took the time to learn more about the benefits of unions -- especially for women. Women who are members of unions earn more, have better health care, and generally have better working conditions than those who are not members of unions.

What happened with me? I was able to find another job. But perhaps if there had been a union in the other company, my story would have ended in a different way. I know this and I am telling every woman I know: EFCA puts the choice back into the hands of the workers.

That's why I will soon travel to Washington, D.C. to personally tell my elected officials my story and let them know that I support the Employee Free Choice Act.

-Jennifer Brown is a member of 9to5 Colorado

CLICK HERE to take action in support of the Employee Free Choice Act.

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