by Seth Michaels, Apr 20, 2009
Pennsylvania union members have delivered tens of thousands of letters in support of the Employee Free Choice Act to Sen. Arlen Specter.
Is it common practice for congressional staff to throw away letters from constituents hoping to have their voices heard? That’s what some of Sen. Arlen Specter’s staff threatened to do to thousands of Pennsylvanians who support the freedom to form unions and bargain.
Specter, who once co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act before he flipped on the bill last month, announced he would support a minority filibuster to prevent it from coming to a vote. Despite once saying he was “delighted” to support it, Specter now is advancing falsehoods about the bill, parroting the extremist charge that it would take away the secret ballot process, which it would not.
Rallies asking Specter to support the Employee Free Choice Act have taken place across the state.
In response, thousands of union members, community activists, religious and civil rights leaders and other members of the broad coalition in support of the Employee Free Choice Act have taken action across the state to make their voices heard. In the past two weeks, they have held seven rallies outside of Specter’s offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Harrisburg, Erie, Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. Supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act have gathered more than 50,000 letters, 35,000 postcards and 12,000 petitions from Pennsylvanians who support the freedom to form unions and bargain.
Specter’s staff grew increasingly aggressive at every event, Pennsylvania union members report. At Specter’s Wilkes-Barre office, where union members and allies delivered thousands of letters and petitions, United Steelworkers (USW) member Tim Waters reports that they were told by a staffer, “as soon as you leave, your letters will go straight in the trash.”
Hello? These are Pennsylvania residents whom the senator represents. This is the way you treat your constituents?
Hundreds of Pennsylvanians took time out this week to make their feelings known to their senator, bringing with them postcards, letters and petitions from tens of thousands of supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act.
They deserve a respectful hearing.
from AFL-CIO blog