I thank both U.S. Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree for their courage to stand up for working people, yet again, by supporting the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019, which will amend the National Labor Relations Act.

Sections of that legislation will prevent the use of replacement workers during a strike and the requirement that employees attend “mandatory” meetings to discourage union membership. Also, the act would stop the arbitrary reclassification of workers in an attempt to make workers exempt from labor law protections.

Why is that so important? For decades, the nation’s courts and Congress have made and interpreted labor laws that were favorable to corporations, rather than the workers. The new legislation might finally tip the balance of power to the American workers who are unionized or trying to unionize. Ask any union organizer and they will tell you that the laws are on the employer side and that the National Labor Relations Board has been weakened through court cases and legislative actions through the years, reducing the NLRB’s important role of ensuring the right of workers to strike, to fight against illegal labor practices, and to join a union without hindrance. The notion that “I could be terminated or discriminated against because I feel a union in my workplace is needed” should be rejected by everyone.

Again, I thank Golden and Pingree for showing their support for working people, who deserve a say in their workplaces.

Joe Mailey, Auburn

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