LEFT OF DAYTON

Senator Sherrod Brown Supports Dayton Newspaper Guild | March 18, 2008

Dayton:

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown gave a rousing endorsement of the efforts of workers at the Dayton Daily News in their struggle to gain ratification of a Union contract with the Cox empire after a 21 year struggle for recognition.

Speaking to a noontime gathering of local Union representatives, including Wes Wells from the AFL-CIO, DDN employees, local elected officials Mark Owens and Nan Whaley and community activists from the Miami Valley Full Employment Council, Brown cited the union movement as a major force in creating a better life for millions of workers.
Utilizing his patented canary in a coal mine analogy, Brown talked about how miners would take one of the birds into the mine shaft and, if it got sick or died, they knew it was time to get out. “Journalists”, he said, “play that role in a democracy” alerting the citizenry to dangerous action by the governing class.

Noting that his spouse, Connie Schultz, is a member of the Newspaper Guild at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Brown spoke to that importance of journalists in protecting democracy and freedom by bringing transparency to government actions. “We need journalists to provide that check and balance between government and citizen,” he said.

Brown is a co-sponsor of the The Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041), supported by a bipartisan coalition in Congress, which would level the playing field for workers and employers and help rebuild America’s middle class. It would restore workers’ freedom to choose a union by:

 

  • Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first-contract negotiations.
  • Providing mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes.
  • Allowing employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation

The Bill has passed the House of Representatives, but sponsors were unable to beat back Republican led filibustering in the Senate.

2nd and 3rd Ohio District Democratic candidates Virginia Wolfsun and Jane Mitakides made short speeches endorsing the Guild’s efforts and promising to be part of a” larger, more Democratic majority” after respectively beating “Mean Jean” Schmidt and “No Taxes for the Rich” Mike Turner in the fall elections.

Dayton Newspaper Guild president Lou Greco spoke on behalf of the the local guild, detailing the history of the fight with the Cox empire for Union recognition. “The owners should know“, he said, “we are not going to go away. 75% of eligible workers in the bargaining unit have indicated support for the Guild, and we will prevail in the end!”

Following the speeches, the group, about 75 people strong , took to the street with hand held signs in front of the DDN headquarters on South Main for a spirited moving picket line. Calling on the Cox company to negotiate now, sign the contract, demanding health care benefits for part time workers, the picketers marched back and forth for about 20 minutes, enduring a light drizzle of rain for their efforts.

Brown is scheduled to be the keynote speaker tonight at the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s Frolic for Funds at the Dayton Convention Center.
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61 Y/O VIET VET WORKING FROM THE LEFT OF CENTER

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