This Season of Giving, Workers Need a Chance to Get Ahead

By Mary Beth Maxwell 12-05-2008

As the holiday season approaches, America's families will gather together, sing Christmas carols, exchange gifts, and spend time with loved ones. This time of year is an integral part of our lives, yet I fear that the real meaning of Christmas and its significance for they way we are to treat one another gets lost in the moment.

A secular holiday for many, Christmas is also a time for Christians to celebrate and reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ. In his adult years, Jesus led by example. He chose to associate with the poor, prostitutes, criminals, and others considered societal pariahs. His work, as described in the gospel, inspires us to pursue social justice, and right the wrongs of the world. I can think of no better way to follow his example than by fighting for those who don't have a voice.

Today, people are losing their jobs, their homes, and ultimately, their way of life. It is unconscionable that corporate greed has often prevailed in preventing families from getting a fair shake. In my view, the money lenders Jesus drove out of the temple have a lot in common with the corporate special interests that deny workers the ability to have a decent quality of life through a union.

It really is time to make the economy work for everyone and restore some balance. That's why we must give workers the ability to more easily join unions, so they can bargain for better wages, health care, and job security. Workers in unions earn 28 percent higher wages on average, and are 59 percent more likely to have health benefits. The Employee Free Choice Act will do just that

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