Wednesday, February 24, 2016
CDC Outsourced Support Staff
Every worker needs a union to protect their lives, health and work. In this case, these support workers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. They have no paid sick leave, a poor pension, and low wages that start at $12.22 for landscapers to a high of $22.57 for plumbers and pipefitters. These workers make the CDC run and yet they have to enter labs without being provided personal protective gear and equipment and have to wash their own clothes at home risking a possible contamination of their families. Even fire companies have stainless steel washing machines at their stations to wash their turnouts and clothes. The CDC workers’ employment was privatized to Four Seasons Environmental company and their union is Operating Engineers Local 926. The company has been trying to overturn the election to unionize and refuses to negotiate in defiance of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) rulings. This is a clear violation and total disregard of workers’ rights and lives and the health of the public, which the CDC is about and they need to step up and stop privatizing the CDC facilities and protect the health of its workers and the public at large. The jobs at the CDC are just some of the jobs that should not be “Walmarted.” Speaking of Walmart, the NLRB just ordered Walmart to reinstate 16 workers that Walmart unlawfully retaliated against because the workers took part in the 2013 strikes against the company. These workers will also receive back pay and discipline notices removed from their company files. Also, the NLRB hearings revealed that Walmart hired the weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin company to spy on its striking workers and the surveillance outfit contacted the FBI and the federal agency helped with the spying. This is the type of thing that went on in the 1920 and ‘30s. If we don’t stop this trend against workers now, we may not be able to later as the snowball will become an avalanche. We’re working more but earning less, our environment is being trashed by the same people squeezing our wages, and our minimal healthcare is threatened. I would encourage you to become familiar with Senator Bernie Sanders’ history and platform versus Hillary Clinton’s and decide who will protect OUR interests in the coming future.