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Labor org endorses bill to ease public sector unionizing

A major public-sector employee union just endorsed legislation pending on Capitol Hill that would make it easier for such workers to join and benefit from labor organizations.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has come out with a statement of support. 

“Our communities are safer, healthier and stronger when public service workers—people like our nurses, paramedics, 911 operators, teachers and sanitation workers—have the freedom to join a union and speak up together for their communities,'' Lee Saunders, AFSCME president said. “Throughout the pandemic, public service workers have been on the front lines, risking their health and safety to protect their neighbors”

“We urge members of Congress to support this important legislation, which would finally give public service workers—no matter what state they live in—a voice on the job and a seat at the table, the respect they deserve for the essential work they do,” Saunders added.

The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act aims to ease the path of public service employees to join a union—and to negotiate with management on pay, better working conditions and other aspects of their jobs.

The bill was first introduced in 2019, and has been resurrected recently to achieve the goal of gaining labor representation—especially for public service employees who live and work in more than two dozen states where they are not currently accorded adequate—or sometimes nearly any—rights to negotiate on such matters.

For more detail, see AFSCME’s website.

2021 Digital Almanac

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