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Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former VP Joe Biden butt heads at opposing ends of the Democratic spectrum. And Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is suing former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Oregonians Urge U.S. Senate to Stand Up for Workers' Rights

June 21, 2007

Salem, OR - Oregon lawmakers, labor leaders and others are hoping the U.S. Senate will follow Oregon's lead and pass the Employee Free Choice Act this week. State lawmakers passed a bill last week that gives workers the right to sign forms to join a union, instead of an employer controlled election. The federal bill goes further, requiring arbitration for the first contracts of a new union and increased penalties on businesses that violate fair labor laws. Oregon Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner says the legislation is critical because union workers earn 30 percent more than non-union workers and are much more likely to have benefits.

"It's absolutely a fight for the middle class. The middle class is evaporating."

The House has already approved the legislation. Opponents say worker's rights would be compromised without a secret ballot.

Gardner points to new research that shows men in their 30s will make less than their fathers for the first time in decades.

"My parents never had a doubt in the world that I'd do as well or better than they did. Unfortunately today, I have fears for my children that they may not be able to."

Dondrea Warner/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - OR