Hundreds of members from the Teamsters and other unions attended a mobilization meeting in Fargo, North Dakota to generate support for the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer C. Thomas Keegel was the keynote speaker at the event.
The meeting at Teamsters Local 120 was part of a national mobilization of union members, veterans, faith groups and small business owners that support the Employee Free Choice Act. Hundreds of rallies, roundtables, press conferences and vigils were held around the country during the last week of May. Union leaders in North Dakota have been engaged in a statewide mobilization in support of the Employee Free Choice Act throughout the week.
“Workers need the Employee Free Choice Act now more than ever,” said C. Thomas Keegel, Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer at the meeting. “Employers are pulling out all the stops trying to bust unions through coercion, intimidation and retaliation. This critical legislation will help level the playing field.”
Corey Kresse, a worker who was fired for attempting to form a union at DMI Industries, shared his experience with employer intimidation and union-busting.
“More than 70 percent of the workers at DMI Industries here in Fargo signed cards to join Teamsters Local 120,” Kresse said. “On the day before the election, the company fired me. It was blatant intimidation by DMI.”
Kresse’s life was sent into a tailspin as he and his wife were forced to go on food stamps and Medicaid to support their six children. They almost lost their house and Kresse and his wife briefly separated.
“Corey and his family were put through hell because DMI wouldn’t allow the workers to form a union,” said Brad Slawson Sr., Teamster Local 120 Secretary-Treasurer and incoming International Vice President. “He is the real face of the Employee Free Choice Act. We must pass this legislation to protect workers like Corey from this kind of illegal behavior from employers.”
The meeting capped off a week of campaigning in support of the Employee Free Choice Act at job sites across the state by the Teamsters, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the SEIU Change that Works Campaign.