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SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 6
INTRODUCED BY S. DOHERTY
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA URGING SUPPORT OF THE RIGHT OF WORKERS TO FORM UNIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
WHEREAS, Montanans from all walks of life have a great stake in promoting sound economic development policy that creates healthy and vibrant communities; and
WHEREAS, Montanans are concerned about the quality of jobs currently being developed and desire jobs that pay family living wages, provide benefits, and are full-time jobs with long-term employment prospects; and
WHEREAS, the gap between the wealthy and everyone else is growing as is demonstrated by evidence that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the pay of corporate executive officers rose an average of 536% between 1980 and 1997 and corporate profits went up 118%, while minimum wages for that time period, adjusted for inflation, and factory wages fell 15% and 8%, respectively; and
WHEREAS, according to a 1998 Economic Report of the President, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly wage for employees dropped from $315 in 1972, when 26% of the total workforce were union members, to $261 in 1991, when only 14.1% of the total workforce were union members; and
WHEREAS, union membership paves the way to building America's middle class by providing families better wages as is demonstrated by the fact that according to a 1998 Employment and Earnings report by the U.S. Department of Labor, union workers earn, on average, 34% more than nonunion workers; and
WHEREAS, unions provide employees with a voice on the job and encourage job innovation and productivity growth; and
WHEREAS, to provide for its citizens, Montana needs to change the way that it does business by encouraging responsible economic development while respecting the employees' right to form or join a union, a right that is already protected by federal and state laws; and
WHEREAS, although these laws protect the employees' right to organize, many employers interfere with employees' unionizing efforts by threatening to close facilities, fire union activists, or otherwise retaliate against employees who organize, and in some cases, employers actually carry out these threats; and
WHEREAS, as a result of employers' intrusion into the employees' decision, employees are often deprived of an opportunity to choose a union free from intimidation or coercion; and
WHEREAS, employers often stall or delay proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, which are intended to allow employees an expeditious means of selecting a union to represent them.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
(1) That the 56th Montana Legislature support the efforts of working people in Montana who seek to unionize to better their conditions of employment.
(2) That all employers within our state be called upon to provide their employees the opportunity to choose whether to unionize free from intimidation or coercion.
(3) That all employers be called upon to clearly communicate to their employees that the employers are neutral on their employees' right to choose union representation and will deal fairly with any union that the employees may select.
(4) That all employers be called upon to:
(a) abide by the decision of their employees when a majority of those employees has signed union authorization cards or otherwise indicated their desire to be represented by a union; and
(b) refrain from using procedural hearings, elections, and other delaying tactics as means for delaying or avoiding union representation for their employees.
(5) That the 56th Montana Legislature adopt this resolution to show public support for the right of workers to freely organize into unions and to recognize the value of this right in Montana's economic development efforts.
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Latest Version of SJ 6 (SJ0006.01)
Processed for the Web on January 19, 1999 (5:26PM)
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