Sunday, December 17, 2006

Reader Submission: Democratic Organizations Support Worker Rights

Our Labor friends need your help. As you may know, the Union workers at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company are on strike. If you work an eight-hour day and forty hour week, if you receive time and a half after forty hours, if your workplace is safe, if you receive vacation time that cumulates with your service time, if you have health care and retirement benefits, and if you believe in America's middle class - give our Labor Unions a BIG Thank you. Because without the Labor movement in America, you would not have the benefits I just mentioned. It is time for all of us to give back.

Goodyear was hurting In 2003. The union responded to the crisis Goodyear was experiencing and agreed to allow the company to cut some 6,000 jobs including closing a plant in Alabama, as well as trim pay, health care and pension benefits in order make the company solvent. The company has turned the corner and is now making a profit.

Now, Goodyear wants more cuts at the expense of the workers. Goodyear wants to cut their pay, hurt retiree benefits and close more factories in Gadsden, Ala., and Tyler, Texas that employ about 2,200 union jobs. Mike Roop, a USW member employed at Goodyear stated, "That's a slap in the face, say workers who believe they helped get Goodyear back in the black. "Two billion dollars in concessions in 2003. Now they want more," The company touted the vital role the union played in its $1 billion turnaround plan but investors don't think it's enough. According to the SEC documents, many of the investors, have been pressuring the company to shift jobs overseas for cheaper labor and production costs. Whatever happened to the common good in this country?

Labor Unions have been decimated by corporate America and the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan. It is time to help our Labor friends build another workers movement, not unlike the labor/industrial movement in early 20th century, that recognized the dignity of work, fair pay, and a rightful voice through collective bargaining contracts. Will you show your support for signing up to stand with our Labor friends? We are looking for folks to give two hours a week to walk the picket line with our Labor friends. If you don't have the time then can you donate food items for the families of the striking workers? How about making a donation to the USW-L2 strike fund?

(Editor's Note: You can learn more about the Goodyear strike at
Above submitted by Patrick Carano of the Progressive Democrats of Ameria.

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