Target: Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant
Goal: Veto bills restricting union workers’ power
Recently, Mississippi has seen a flood of anti-union bills; three just made their way through the state Senate thanks in large part to party-line voting, and they are now en route to Governor Bryant’s desk. Senate Bill 2473 would permit businesses to sue anyone they perceive as coercing them into neutrality in a union drive – without defining coercion – and would remove the choice to become part of a union by signing a card as opposed to by secret ballot. Senate Bill 2653 would restrict legal picketing practices so that unions cannot have violent pickets that block entrances, but it also would make it easier for businesses to get a court order to stop a picket. Senate Bill 2797 would require local legislatures to pass a law in order to permit the government to make a project labor agreement using unionized workers.
While some of these provisions sound benign or even protective, including the requirement that pickets be nonviolent and not block entrances, they are tied to provisions that severely restrict union organizing practices. Supporters of the bills claim that they are unrelated to a recent situation in Canton, where the United Auto Workers union has been pressing Nissan for neutrality to achieve their goal of unionizing the local plant, but the text of the first bill seems to indicate otherwise. Opponents of the bills worry that they might be used to keep union labor from working on state development projects. As Sen. Hob Bryan (D-Amory) told the Mississippi Business Journal, “Until this group of legislation came up, I think everyone was willing to let the National Labor Relations Board and the National Labor Relations Act to deal with this.”
By signing this petition, you are urging Governor Bryant to veto these bills that unnecessarily restrict the rights and power of labor unions. You are encouraging him to recognize that labor unions protect and advocate for Mississippi taxpayers and their families, and that making it easier for businesses to ignore or deny union wishes will hurt his constituents.
Dear Governor Bryant,
The recent slew of anti-union bills in the Mississippi legislature is highly disappointing and clearly represents a party-line attack on the working class. These bills, while they might include some provisions that protect workers and the general populace, contain far too many provisions that unnecessarily restrict the organizing and negotiating powers of unions. Mississippi taxpayers and their families need unions to ensure their rights are upheld.
I urge you to veto Senate Bills 2473, 2653, and 2797. I encourage you to recognize that labor unions advocate for working Mississippians, and that these bills would only make it easier for businesses to ignore union attempts to negotiate and therefore to hurt your constituents.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kheel Center via Flickr