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Letters to the Editor

Workers Memorial Day

| Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 9:00 p.m.

Thursday is Workers Memorial Day — the AFL-CIO's way of honoring “those who have suffered … on the job.”

Unfortunately, many workers struggle under onerous labor rules. Fewer than 10 percent of union members voted for the union currently “representing” them. And those who did weren't guaranteed a secret ballot election — labor organizers often circumvent the democratic process by using publicly staged “card check” procedures. Forced union dues are automatically deducted from workers' paychecks, with much of the money spent on politics.

So this is a great time to celebrate the Employee Rights Act (ERA), national legislation that would substantially update American labor law for the first time since the 1940s. The ERA democratizes the workplace by requiring secret ballot union elections, guaranteeing employee privacy during union organizing campaigns and protecting members' paychecks from unapproved political spending — all without attacking collective bargaining. It's no wonder the bill is co-sponsored by more than 130 members of Congress and supported by about 80 percent of Americans.

On this Workers Memorial Day, let's honor our working men and women by passing the Employee Rights Act.

Richard Berman

Washington, D.C.

The author is the executive director of the Center for Union Facts.

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