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Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 04, 2011 7:20 AM

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Eavesdropping incident underlines need for worker organization

The Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor condemns the recent attempt of supervisors at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to eavesdrop on their employees with a baby monitor.

We vehemently oppose restricting the ability of UI workers to hold appropriate private conversations while at work. As human beings, workers deserve to be treated better than this. The employees make the UIHC facilities run; restrictions on their democratic rights to free speech are an insult to all those who work to create the wealth of society.

Additionally, we believe UIHC management violated AFSCME Local 12’s collective-bargaining agreement by allegedly refusing to allow local President John Stellmach to leave his job to investigate this issue. If, as alleged, disciplinary action was threatened if he went to the media, then the hospital administration also violated his Constitutional right to freedom of speech and the press.

The labor movement has a proud history of defending our First Amendment rights, and we have no intention of relinquishing those rights.

If the recent events in Wisconsin have taught us anything, it is that now is the time for all workers — white collar and blue collar, unionized and nonunionized — to stand together to defend our rights and assert our worth. The best way to put a brake on these practices like the one that occurred at UIHC is to build a strong labor movement.

The Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor stands for the creation of a workers’ party in the United States, based on the trade unions and those currently unorganized. A workers’ government in Iowa and throughout the country would fight to improve the rights and living conditions of all workers, including the repeal of all anti-union laws and expanded organizing drives.

David Arthur Smithers, Mari Elizabeth Araujo, and Marlon Pierre-Antoine, Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor Eastern Iowa


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