New Law Bans Mandatory Captive Audience Meetings
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(AUGUSTA, Maine) – Teamsters Local 340 is commending the signing of the Employee Free Speech Act (LD 1756) into state law by Maine Gov. Janet Mills. The legislation bans mandatory attendance at “captive audience” meetings – employer-held, closed-door gatherings where workers are forced under threat of termination to listen to lies and propaganda designed to dissuade them from organizing.
“We are grateful to State Senator Matthea Daughtry and State Representative Kristen Cloutier for sponsoring this bill, to all the state legislators that voted in favor of the bill, and to Gov. Mills for signing it into law,” said Brett Miller, President of Local 340. “Captive audience meetings deploy the same fear and intimidation tactics used by authoritarian governments. We are thrilled that workers across the state can no longer be forced to listen to anti-union rhetoric in the workplace.”
“Workers have the right to organize without being subject to intimidation from their employers,” said Thomas G. Mari, Secretary-Treasurer of Joint Council 10 and President of Local 25. “States like Maine are leading the way in enacting pro-worker laws like banning mandatory attendance at captive audience meetings. This much-needed legislation protects workers’ right to skip out on employer led anti-union propaganda sessions and return to their regular work duties.”
Similar legislation has been enacted into law in Oregon, Minnesota, and Connecticut. In New York, a ban on mandatory captive audience meetings is awaiting approval from Gov. Kathy Hochul and in California, the same ban has made it out of Committee in the State Assembly and is awaiting a floor vote.
Chartered in 1937, Teamsters Local 340 represents nearly 4,000 members in bargaining units across the state of Maine, including municipal employees, police, firefighters, and freight workers. For more information, visit teamsterslocal340.org.