Actions at the top

April 28, 2009 

Caterpillar, which has laid off over 20,000 workers including hundreds in North Carolina, can't find the money to keep its workers employed. Yet the company paid thousands of dollars to run a full-page political advertisement in The N&O on April 23 to oppose legislation that would empower workers and give them a real voice at the workplace.

Corporations like Caterpillar say they are looking out for workers' interests by opposing the Employee Free Choice Act, but their actions speak louder than words.

For years these companies have paid their CEOs skyrocketing salaries while worker wages stagnated. Their CEOs wouldn't work a day without a contract, but they won't allow workers to have one. These businesses belong to the Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of other industry associations, but they are spending millions to keep workers from forming their own organizations.

Let's face it: These companies are looking out for the folks at the top. Don't be fooled by their ads. The Employee Free Choice Act allows workers to bargain for a better life. And when workers earn more, they stimulate the economy by spending more and paying more in taxes. That's why we need this legislation now more than ever.

MaryBe McMillan

Secretary-Treasurer, N.C. State AFL-CIO, Raleigh

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