Posts Tagged ‘Kimberly Freeman Brown’

American Rights at Work Executive Director Sets the Record Straight on NLRB’s Proposed Rule

Yesterday in Washington, DC, American Rights at Work Executive Director Kimberly Freeman Brown joined the scores of workers and labor experts who have spoken out in defense of the National Labor Relations Board’s proposed rule to modernize union elections. The rule would remove unnecessary procedural delays and includes commonsense changes such as allowing for electronic filing.

As Kim pointed out, a fairer elections process unburdened by needless litigation and delay is “good news for workers, employers, and the economy.” Read more »


One hundred years after the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, worker safety still paramount

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Workers and communities across the country honor the memory of the 146 women and children who perished as a result of locked doors and employer negligence. In 1911 outrage toward such callous disregard for workers galvanized Americans to press for better working conditions, and today, the 100th anniversary gives us an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of workplace safety. Read more »


Let Us Play, Let Us Work Panel Discusses NFL Lockout

Cross-posted from

Less than a week after the Super Bowl, the NFLPA and American Rights at Work met Thursday morning to discuss the economic impact of a lockout on the local economies around the country. Joining them were Ravens cornerback Chris Carr, former player Brian Mitchell, John Marler of UNITE HERE Local 24 and The Nation Sports Editor David Zirin.

“Despite every NFL team being profitable, record television revenues and a Super Bowl that now ranks as the highest rated show on television, owners are demanding the players take pay cuts and work longer, said Kimberly Freeman Brown, Executive Director of American Rights at Work.

Read more »


It all started with clean socks and jocks

Yesterday, American Rights at Work Executive Director Kimberly Freeman Brown and George Atallah, the NFL Players Association’ Assistant Executive Director for External Affairs, held a briefing call to discuss the implications of a lockout for all workers. Kim and George were joined on the call by a diverse group of non-labor organizations, coalitions, and think tanks, including: Center for American Progress , National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, Jobs with Justice, Military Saves, National Consumers League, Center for Economic and Policy Research, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

George began the call by reminding the participants that while labeled an “association,” the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is in fact a union. It was formed in 1956 with the rallying cry “clean socks and jocks,” in response to team owners refusing to provide clean uniforms. Ever since, the NFLPA has been fighting for many of the same workplace protections as workers in other industries—including health care, pensions, and safety on the job. And with the threat of a lockout looming, the NFLPA is standing with the hundreds of thousands of everyday workers – from the grounds crew in the stadium to the bell hops in the hotels – who would lose their jobs without a football season. Read more »


A new Congress, but the fight for workers’ rights continues

There’s no way around it: We’re about to see a major shift in the political landscape. Far-right Republicans helped the GOP gain a majority in the House of Representatives, and there were losses for Democrats in the Senate as well.

And in Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah, the so-called secret ballot measures we blogged about last week  all passed. It’s a chilling indication of how far corporate interests will go to maintain a status quo that protects exploitative employers, even if it means continued setbacks for workers and the economy. Read more »


Link between union density and happiness plays out on national scale

It’s no surprise that belonging to a union improves the lives of union members. But a recent study co-authored by Patrick Flavin and Benjamin Radcliff at Notre Dame and Alexander Pacek of Texas A&M University, shows that union density—the percentage of the workforce that belongs to unions—also has a direct impact on workers who don’t belong to unions. Read more »


Labor in the pulpits, on the Bimah, in the Minbar

I was raised in Abilene, Texas, which some call the “buckle of the bible belt”.  One interesting thing about growing up in that part of the country was experiencing so many different types of faith and religious communities.  Whether they were Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, or Muslim, most of these communities had one thing in common: their respective commitments to social justice.

An organization called Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) works year-round to highlight this very commitment to social and economic justice.  IWJ is a labor rights group that organizes the religious community around issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits, and conditions for workers. The organization strives to give workers—especially those in low-wage jobs—a voice at work and in their communities.   Read more »


Federal judge to pool chemical company: Clean up your act.

Alden Leeds, Inc., a company that produces swimming pool chemicals in Kearny, NJ, will have to face up to its dirty deeds. Last November, while in contract negotiations with its employees’ union, the company unlawfully locked out 50 workers.

For the record, that’s illegal. And it’s wrong. Instead of bargaining in good faith with its employees, the company chose to leave them out in the cold, without a paycheck, for nearly nine months.

Unfortunately, this kind of thing is nothing new for America’s working families. Firing and intimidating pro-union employees are common practice for far too many employers. Adding insult to injury, lawbreaking employers often get away with these crimes, with nary a penalty.  But not this time! Read more »


The 75th anniversary of the NLRA: A happy birthday for workers’ rights?

Amid all the fanfare surrounding the 4th of July last week, another significant milestone in our country’s history slipped by largely unnoticed—the 75th anniversary of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). A vital component of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the NLRA was designed to protect workers’ right to form unions and bargain collectively for better pay, benefits, and working conditions.

As Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis noted in a recent Huffington Post column, passage of the NLRA was touted by many—including celebrated economist John Maynard Keynes—as an integral part of the country’s economic recovery program.

In an op-ed featured in The Hill, our Executive Director Kimberly Freeman Brown joined Secretary Solis in commemorating the Act’s anniversary, and stressed the importance of modernizing the NLRA to meet the needs of today’s workplaces. Read more »


Supreme Court ruling could reopen hundreds of NLRB decisions

Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, more than 500 National Labor Relations Board cases are likely to be reopened.

The court ruled in New Process Steel v. National Labor Relations Board that the Board had been operating illegally with just two members, Democrat Wilma Liebman and Republican Peter Schaumber,  since December 2007. While we’ve certainly been in favor of filling out the NLRB to its full membership so it can truly get back to work for workers, today’s ruling only adds insult to injury for thousands of workers across America by needlessly delaying finality for workers who already thought they had it

Kimberly Freeman Brown, Executive Director of American Rights at Work, had this to say on how to move forward:

Notwithstanding today’s developments, the NLRB must still address serious issues faced by workers in this economy by enacting tougher remedies on lawbreaking employers, demanding swift justice for illegally fired workers, and protecting workers’ rights to a first contract to the fullest extent of the law.

You can read her statement here.