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Unions march for worker organization legislation


Hundreds of union members have begun marching from downtown Los Angles to Westwood to rally support for the Employee Free Choice Act, proposed legislation that would make it easier to organize workers.

Me1_kelzeznc The march began about 10 a.m. at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor office near MacArthur Park and is expected to continue along Wilshire Boulevard, with three short stops before reaching the federal building in Westwood at 5 p.m.

Olympic Boulevard was closed this morning for the first three miles of the march. For the rest of the route, police and traffic officials will determine whether to direct marchers onto sidewalks or continue to close roads, organizers said.

The Employee Free Choice Act would require employers to recognize a union once a majority of workers signed membership cards, in what is known as a card-check system.

Typically, companies exercise their right to require an employee election organized by the National Labor Relations Board.

-- Evelyn Larrubia

Photo credt: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (30)

So this protest gets to close down major throughfares during rush hour. Yes, people have a right to protest; that right, however, doesn't trump everyone elses' right to get where they are going. Ss there a permit for his march, or are we yet again too "afraid" of "offending" anyone to actually enforce the law?

ur an idiot. thats the point of a march/protest. to raise awareness by shutting part of the city down and getting noticed.

The union gangs are trying to intimidate every day people into voting for this sham. The union gang bosses are corrupt and steal union dues for their own criminal activities. This includes teachers and state employees unions. Union members find out how much the gang bosses are making and where your dues are going. Unions should be investigated because all are corrupt.

Do the unions really think we are that stupid? They're trying to take away the right of employees to have a secret ballot because it's much easier to unionize a workplace when you can bully and harass your coworkers into signing a card. This is outrageous, and union supporters should be embarrased.

You realize they aren't trying to take away the secret ballot... right?

Thanks for that ridiculous generalization, Rick @ 12:53 PM. I know that most of us are excited to be in workplaces that underpay us, don't provide protected health benefits and outsource our jobs when it's convenient.

No union- workers used, union-dues stolen. What can we do to make this a better country for the non rich who seem to be turning into slave laber by the second and raped by wall street over and over? I never get ahead! I only stay afloat and would not dare have a child!!!!

Unions will bankrupt the state, the cities, and companies. Use the the auto companies as an example and you'll see why organized labor hinders creativity and growth.

Unions are legalized extortion. PERIOD.

Unions do absolutely nothing to save your job. My Wife worked at Los robles as a nurse and was fired when she missed a Ethics meeting because she was over worked and understaffed. SEIU did absolutely nothing to save her job and as Rick above stated the Union she belonged to was Corrupt. Its a shame people are coerced into joining union's who do not help the workers who support them. Heres another catch if you choose not to join you still have to pay an association fee. This is another reason the USA is in the state it is all of the wrong people in charge or control.

Get your facts straight. The Free Choice legislation does not take away the right to the secret ballot election. Currently, if 30% of employees sign a petition asking for an election, they get it. Under Free Choice, that is still the process. All that changes is the employer can no longer FORCE employees to do the election rather than signing cards. This is just about who has the power to decide on the process-- workers or their bosses.

Ria has the situation reversed. It is the employers who seek to intimidate the
workers prior to an election. Anyone who has ever been around an organizing
drive will vouch for this fact. The Employee Free Choice Act is an attempt to
stop this harassment.

Kent Tunks

ALL Unions should be disbanded their time has come and cone... they are ruining this country!

Daniel, "ur an idiot." Just like a lib to immediately resort to name calling. Notice the story didn't even mention the secret ballot?

Unions used to be a great institution. A lot of them have lost their mission and have become a haven for losers. There was a time when unions cared about their membership and would provide training ensure worker's safety, adequater pay and reasonable working conditions. they were the balance in the system when people were oppressed.

Today, they have become like the corporations they fight. the problem, is that in protecting jobs, there is only so much money that is in the pot and to get re-elected, the union officers promise the moon, but deliver peanuts.

Folks, I can only say look at detroit and what the unions have done for their membership, lately. Not much.

A secret ballot would work just fine, thank you very much.

So...did all these union folks have an excused absence from work to be in this march? Are they government worker types who take off when they please? Do I as a worker have the right to NOT be in a union? Where in the U.S. Constitution does it say forced union membership is part of "life, liberty,and the pursuit of happiness"if I decide my personal life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness includes not having money involuntarily taken from my pay to support policies with which I have serious disagreement? If union leaders blather on that,while secret ballots for unions is okay in other countries, why is it "different" here thus the supposed benefit of "card check" and coerced arbitration?

All unions are just but its up to us s fellow americans to see to it that they are true to there word!

Um, unions are full of thugs? I think that goes double for corporate bullies, which should be evident today more than ever. I don't mean to glamorize unions, but they're far better than they used to be (under mob control) and an America without unions would be (and was) horrible. The comment that unions are legalized extortion is hilarious, because legalized extortion is not extortion and particularly without the context that America pre-union could be characterized legalized indentured servitude, which is far worse than a few annual union dues in my book.

People should have the right to work without being required to join a union. This legistlation takes away the rights of workers to a non union workforce. Unions are just another name for socialists.

Current labor law does not work any more. Corporate lobbyists have stripped American workers of their rights including those defined by the US Constitution. Every year thousands of American workers are fired because they want to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment. The remaining workers are threatened with job loss and wage cuts if they go union. They are forced to attend all hands meetings where they are threatened and intimidated by high-priced attorneys masquerading as "company consultants". This goes on day in and day out for the entire 42 day waiting period before the National Labor Relations Board holds a union election. Does that sound fair to you?

You can call labor leaders corrupt and stand on your soapbox and preach about trickle-down economics but you can't hide from the truth. And the truth is that American workers have no rights. Period. The American workplace has become a place where you must shut up and take whatever they give you, because if you dare to ask for a penny more they'll fire you. Our high tech industries including aerospace and defense have been outsourced and sold to countries that were once our sworn enemies. Unchecked corporate greed has destroyed the US manufacturing base, and the middle class has suffered for it.

"Union" is not a four letter word. The NLRB was formed as part of FDR's Great American Recovery Act, and the only amendments to the Act of the last 75 years have been designed to weaken it. Europeans enjoy a higher standard of living than their American counterparts. They enjoy better pay and benefits because the labor movement is stronger in Europe. But who are the American workers told they must compete with? Chinese workers. Unions exist for a reason – they balance the scale between workers and management. It’s time for a change in this country.

For those who believe the Employee Free Choice Act abolishes secret ballot elections, I would advise you to read the text of the proposed bill.

I totally agree with Rick. The unions were needed and did great work to help members at one time long ago. Today they are all corrupt and are destroying our economy even more than the crooks on Wall St. Make unions illegal before it is too late. Let their fat, rich crooked leaders join Jimmy Hoffa.

It's sad how many people that will get on here and bash unions and have no idea what they are talking about. Look at the facts. So you want to accuse Unions of running the economy in the ground? That is impressive seeing how only about 8 percent of the country in unionized. So it's the people making 14 an hour busting there ass doing jobs you would not think of doing because you have a liberal arts degree right? lol CEO in's 1985 made 46 times the average blue collar worker...... as of last year that numbers is about 369 times the average worker. So your ok with a blow hard who's company goes belly up but he still leave his post with 25 mil. plus stock options. Absolute morons. Do you homework

LOL some of you should have your computers taken......... The union does not make anyone join........ If you work at a company that makes candles and they switched to make condoms and your don't agree exercise your right and find a new job. No one has to join a union ever.....

I agree with you Shawn; it's sad to see people bash unions and blame union workers for causing our economic problems. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Unions are the reason we have a standard 40 hour work week in this country. Unions are the reason we have child labor laws, overtime pay, safety & health regulations and paid vacations. These were all union battles that our society embraced and enacted into law because they believed in the dignity of work and the concept of equal treatment for all. Workers need unions now more than ever before because the business community has done a very poor job of representing the interests of the middle class.

When it's all said and done, social issues are union issues, because the Labor movement and the Civil Rights movement are one and the same. Unions believe in equality and fair treatment for all. It's a shame that people in our society today think that's a bad thing.

I find it amazing how the few get such a big say in everything. When 70+% of the people asked for offshore drilling, the environmentalists trumped them. When 70+% of the people wanted stonger border security, the ACLU and La Renza trumped them. Now the unions are doing the same.

My biggest question on this piece that wasn't addressed is "Why aren't these people working and who is paying them to protest?" This is the biggest problem with unions. They are a "brotherhood" and when one union is striking, all other unions think they should do so, too, regardless of their current labor contract. I have seen many UAW union strikes against the automakers, but when one of their component manufacturers go on strike, the UAW is there to join them. It doesn't matter if the UAW workers are under contract and have no grips. They use the "strength in numbers" ploy.

We need to start listening to what the majority of Americans want. We are divided among Democrats and Republicans, but what is interesting is that most Americans share a lot of common concerns that get "swept under the carpet" by the minorities.

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