Union organizers say many Iowan workers can’t exercise their right to organize. The Iowa Federation of Labor is asking the state’s congressional delegation to support a bill that would make it easier to form unions in a workplace. AFL-CIO head Mark Smith says the “Employee Free Choice Act” would let workers sign a card to unionize, bypassing the current election process. He says employers in the country discriminate, “pick on and harass” workers who try to organize and form unions at work. Smith says the labor federation’s urged the congressional delegation to cosponsor the legislation, and he says Senator Tom Harkin’s agreed and he hopes Senator Grassley and the state’s U.S. representatives do too. Smith says too often, the typical vote on whether to join a union turns into an antiunion power play by employers who actively campaign against a vote. Other Iowa labor union workers told of workplaces where organizers were fired or employers dragged their feet even after a union vote. December tenth is International Human Rights Day, and the organizers say the timing of this announcement is to point out that workers’ rights are human rights.
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