By DON McINTOSH
At long last, the federal government wants to make it clear which side it’s on.
“Interested in unions and collective bargaining? We’re here to help,” says a new web site created by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Worker Organizing Resource and Knowledge (WORK) Center bills itself as a one-stop shop for information and resources on unions and collective bargaining. Why? Because unions improve the lives of all workers, the site declares.
It shouldn’t have taken so long: The preamble to the National Labor Relations Act, passed in 1935, declares it to be the policy of the United States to encourage “the practice and procedure of collective bargaining” and to protect “the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing.” But all too often, federal agents in the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. Department of Labor have acted as if they’re strictly neutral when it comes to battles between employers and workers.
The new web site attempts to make it easy for workers to get the information they need, for example, “Unions 101: What is a union, and how can you form one?”
Another section titled “the Union Advantage” explains how joining a union can improve pay and benefits.