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National Union Leader in Oregon: "Middle Class in Critical Condition"

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Monday, May 7, 2007   


Today's labor laws aren't working for the middle class anymore, according to the AFL-CIO's national organizing director during a stop to support the long efforts of Roseburg nurses to form a union. Stewart Acuff said it shouldn't be that hard to fight for more staff to provide better care for patients and better wages. He believes the Employee Free Choice Act, now in Congress, would make it easier.

“It's critical to strengthening and expanding the American middle class, which has been under such pressure, to give workers the freedom to form unions and bargain their way into the middle class.”

The House has already passed the Employee Free Choice Act. The Senate is expected to vote early this summer. Supporters say the Act would make it easier workers to organize to improve their wages, benefits and working conditions. Critics say it would actually take away workers' rights because it allows for a majority vote by sign-up rather than secret ballot.

Acuff adds that the Employee Free Choice Act is important for fair wages for the middle class.

“CEO pay has gone through the roof; corporate profits have gone through the roof; American workers' productivity has gone up by 75 percent, and yet wages have stagnated or even fallen off in the last 25 years.”



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