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CT AFL-CIO Thanks Judiciary Committee for Bipartisan Approval of Legislation Protecting Employees’ Free Speech

David C. Dal Zin
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Ed Hawthorne, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, made the following statement in response to the Judiciary Committee passing Senate Bill 163, An Act Protecting Employee Freedom of Speech and Conscience:

"Today, the Judiciary Committee took an important bipartisan step forward to protect workers from employer intimidation and harassment during union organizing campaigns. Far too often, management forces workers to attend closed-door captive audience meetings where they frequently threaten business closures, wage cuts, layoffs, immigration status, and working conditions if workers vote for a union.

"No employer should be able to force a worker to attend a meeting to coerce their opinions on religion, politics, or union organizing. This bill does not limit the employer’s speech. Rather, it only allows a worker to return to work without fear of discipline or termination if the employer holds a meeting about politics or religion. That’s it.

"The labor movement is incredibly thankful to the members of the Judiciary Committee for voting for this critical pro-worker legislation. We are especially grateful for the leadership of the co-chairs, Senator Gary Winfield and Representative Steve Stafstrom, who heard the pleas from working people and took action."

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Hear from workers and organizers in their own words about captive audience meetings and why this legislation is important: