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Voices for Change

American Rights at Work is committed to amplifying the new and diverse voices of those who care about workers’ rights and the Employee Free Choice Act.  You may just be surprised by who is speaking up…

"This idea of workers fighting for their rights, for the most basic things, the right to exist, is something we have to support."

- Danny Glover, Actor

"When you say you're going to form a union, you're talking about giving workers self-respect. . . . The ideas of unions, self-respect, and economic stability are all related."

- Studs Terkel, Writer and Radio Personality

"Workers' rights are so vital to what the promise of what this country is. . . . If you work, you should be able to take care of your family, feed your family, you should be able to get health care."

- Brad Whitford, Actor

"Hotel workers by the airport make 20 percent less wages than hotel workers around the rest of Los Angeles. We're here to express our solidarity with them, to help them unionize and to help them close the gap between their sub-poverty wages and the millions and millions of dollars the people who own these hotels make."

- Tom Morello
, Musician

"We believe the Employee Free Choice Act is a smart, fair, and good public policy because it protects workers’ freedom to form unions. As CEO, I challenge other progressive business leaders to support this landmark legislation. What is good for workers is good for business."

- Roger Smith, President and CEO, AIL & NILICO 

"How employers manage health and safety in the workplace or how labor rights are respected are issues important for employees and investors alike."

- Tim Smith, Senior Vice President, Walden Asset Management

"The CWA-Cingular neutrality agreement strengthens our current partnership-based relationship. We share mutual goals and values which will better enable us to continue to operate successfully in a very competitive environment."

- Lew Walker
, Vice President of Human Resources, Cingular Wireless

"Companies that treat their workers as assets to be developed do better over the long term than companies that treat their workers as costs to be cut. Consumers, investors, and CEOs should take note."

- Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley

"Strip unions of their power to safeguard workers and you strip them of their power to protect all of us."

- Carl Pope, Executive Director, Sierra Club

"Workers’ rights to join a union and bargain collectively are basic human rights. Yet employers routinely retaliate against workers by firing them, threatening to close their worksites and by otherwise intimidating them. These ongoing workplace human rights violations are the major reasons why so many workers are denied good jobs, good wages and good healthcare benefits."

- Julian Bond, Chairman of the Board of Directors, NAACP

"The road to today's African American middle class was paved by organized labor. Whether the proud Pullman Porters, the acclaimed auto workers, or the calloused-handed construction workers, the capacity to collectively bargain has culminated in a higher standard of living for generations of Black workers. Opposition to the right to organize, as set forth in the Employee Free Choice Act, is tantamount to advocating a return to the dirt roads of dispossession for dark-skinned workers."

- Gary L. Flowers, Executive Director & CEO, Black Leadership Forum, Inc.

"It is clear that there is a very strong association between the extent of unionization in a country and how democratic it is."

- Dr. John Betton, Professor, University of Wisconsin at La Crosse

"The right of all workers to negotiate their conditions of employment is not only a statutory right in the United States, it is also a fundamental human right."

- Roy Adams, Steering Committee Chair, Society for the Promotion of Human Rights in Employment

"Current labor law fails to protect union activists from management retaliation and does not guarantee orderly and fair elections."

- David Jacobs, Morgan State University

"Judaism has recognized the right of workers to organize for over 2,000 years. Workers have a right to protect themselves from dangerous and unfair working conditions. Any attempt to prevent them from doing this is unethical."

- Rabbi Mordchai Liebling, Director, Torah of Money, The Shefa Fund

"Federal law has long prohibited employment discrimination on grounds of union activity. Yet many business executives feel no shame in admitting that they engage in such discrimination… employment discrimination on the basis of union activity is just as unethical as discrimination on the basis of religion, race, sex, or national origin."

- Greg Saltzmann, Adjunct Research Scientist, Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, University of Michigan

"We don't have an adversarial relationship with our unions at all.  We look at it as a contributing factor to productivity and a better product."

- Bill Ihle, Sr. Vice President Corporate Relations, Jackson and Perkins

"At McAninch, working with unions is an advantage, not an obstacle.  We have high standards and so do they."

- Dwayne McAninch, CEO and Chairman, McAninch Corporation

"Organized labor may surprise everyone by advocating for policies dear to the majority of workers, such as flex-time, pension and benefit reforms, and retirement solvency, and thus growing anew.  Meanwhile, the external fight to protect against abusive employers must and will continue."

- Tim Kane, Director of International Trade and Economics, Heritage Foundation

"We choose to be a union contractor so we are able to rely on a well-trained, competent… work force that can construct any facility in a safe, economical and timely way."

- C. Lane Slaughter, President, Glenroy Construction Company, Inc.

"As a business owner I have a fiduciary obligation to our investors.  But, I also feel an obligation to the workers who produce our high quality products; that they have the right to organize and to an agreement that will give them a fair and descent wage for the work that they do."

- Louis J. Giraudo, Founder and Chairman, GESD Capital Partners

"We respect workers rights to form and join organizations of their choice and to bargain collectively."

- R. John Anderson, President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Company

"A strong partnership with our unions - including union leadership and individual members - is important to me as a CEO and to all the leaders at AEP.  We see a strong labor-management relationship as key to our past and future success."

- Michael Morris, President and CEO, American Electric Power

"In the globalized economy, most power sits within corporations, governments, and international trade organizations.  Collective bargaining allows workers also to be heard."

- Dr. Ruth Rosenbaum, Executive Director, Center for Reflection, Education and Action

"Lear practices neutrality and card-check with respect to the union as a matter of policy for over 10 years.  This policy has allowed voluntary choice without causing disruptive behavior in our plants."

- John Fowler, Vice President, Employee Relations, Lear Corporation

“The Employee Free Choice Act will empower American Americans and all Americans to join and organize unions; to bargain for better pay, benefits and career opportunities; and to take their place in the great American middle class.” 

- Wade Henderson, President, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

“While this country in general - and the Black community, in particular - face a severe economic crisis, one long-term source of this crisis is the inadequate spending power on the part of working families. We must use this time as a chance to fix the economy so that it works for working families.  The Employee Free Choice Act is one step in this direction.”

- Dr. Steven Pitts, Labor Policy Specialist, University of California Berkeley Labor Center