Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Tell FirstGroup to Cease US Union-Busting

My experience with SEIU is that it is a good union, working hard for people who need a union. Here's a way to help. Take Action: Tell FirstGroup to Cease US Union-Busting
When it comes to unions, U.K.-based bus and rail giant FirstGroup speaks out of both sides of its mouth. In the United Kingdom, FirstGroup depicts itself as a company that respects workers and values their unions. In its 2003-2004 'Corporate Responsibility' report, the company writes: "We have developed strong partnerships with our trade unions at both local and national levels, leading to joint working across a range of issues, including education, staff welfare, and employee benefits."

However, when employees at FirstGroup's U.S. subsidiary, First Student, have attempted to form a union to raise employment and service standards in the United States, company managers have responded with campaigns that attack unions, distributed anti-union literature, required workers to watch anti-union propaganda videos, and urged employees not to sign union cards. The company's U.S. employee handbook has a 'Union-Free' section which states: 'First Student will vigorously oppose any attempt by a union to organize our employees, by every legal means available.'

Please join us in calling upon FirstGroup CEO Moir Lockhead, FirstGroup Director of International Development and Marketing David Leeder, and First Student CFO Raj Sankar to respect U.S. workers' right to form a union and immediately direct the company's U.S. managers to cease their anti-union activities.
SEIU is one of the unions that is urging the AFL-CIO to take a more active role in defending workers' rights. I hope they succeed. Someone should start defending labor against the Bush reactionaries.

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