Fighting flight attendants: Not nearly as funny as it may seem

During the past week, we’ve been treated to two news stories about flight attendants getting into arguments that required their respective flights to head back to the gate.

One argument came on an American Eagle flight that was ready for take off. Ben Mutzabaugh, writing for USA Today‘s travel section, explains how it got started:

Passengers on a New York-to-Washington American Eagle flight were delayed for more than four hours Wednesday after the airline’s attendants got into an argument with each other, according to NBC Washington.

Witnesses tell NBC the spat seemed to begin when one attendant was on her phone. That’s when the flight’s other attendant made this announcement: “Everyone needs to put their phones away, and electronics and so on, including the flight attendant.”

On Wednesday, two attendants on a United Airlines flight got into it soon after take off, necessitating that the plane return to the airport. Mutzabaugh reports again:

A fight between two attendants forced a Chicago-bound United Airlines flight to return to Raleigh/Durham shortly after takeoff this morning, according to The News & Observer of Raleigh.

“Our law enforcement team was notified by the tower that the captain had requested law enforcement to meet the aircraft,” Mindy Hamlin, RDU spokeswoman, tells the News & Observer. “The aircraft had gotten about 50 miles out when he reported a possible assault on the aircraft.”

Flying the stressed-out skies

Fighting flight attendants. It sounds like the stuff of a late-night talk show monologue, doesn’t it?

But before we start making fun, let’s at least acknowledge that since 9/11, working in the passenger aviation industry has become an increasingly stressful job — especially for rank-and-file cabin crews. Layoffs and furloughs have been frequent. A job once associated with glamour and seeing the world has changed dramatically.

Flight attendants now are expected to be the front line eyes and ears against possible terrorism. They must work packed flights of passengers who are surly about going through the TSA security gauntlet and then stuffed onto planes with a beverage and pretzels to tide them over.

In addition to lousier working conditions, their compensation and benefits have been in a free fall. Their unions have been pressed to make major concessions, and airline pension funds have gone bankrupt. These cutbacks and pension fund implosions have occurred despite healthy bonuses given to high-level executives at many major airlines.

I don’t know anything about the individual flight attendants involved in these arguments. And regardless of the stressors they’re facing, the safety risks involved in these behaviors likely justify disciplinary measures.

That said, instead of joking about “cat fights in the air,” we should consider the strong possibility that stressful working conditions and sharp cuts in compensation are fueling tensions between these workers and making it more likely that similar incidents will occur.

Working notes: Workplace bullying research from WBI and free articles from yours truly

For scholars, evidence-based practitioners, and others seeking research and analysis on workplace bullying, here’s some useful stuff:

Workplace Bullying Institute

If you haven’t accessed this page from the Workplace Bullying Institute website, you should click and have a look around. You’ll find links to:

My articles

On the same WBI page, you’ll also find a link to my scholarly articles on workplace bullying, employment law, and employee relations.

Among these publications, the following are the most relevant to those researching the legal implications of bullying at work:

Workplace bullying and the law

The Phenomenon of ‘Workplace Bullying’ and the Need for Status-Blind Hostile Work Environment Protection – Georgetown Law Journal, 2000 (first American law review article to explore, in depth, the legal implications of workplace bullying, concluding with a recommendation for the contours of what would become the Healthy Workplace Bill).

Crafting a Legislative Response to Workplace Bullying – Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, 2004 (contains and explains the original version of the Healthy Workplace Bill).

Workplace Bullying and American Employment Law: A Ten-Year Progress Report and Assessment – Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, 2010 (examines the emerging movement to enact workplace bullying protections and discusses a more current version of the Healthy Workplace Bill).

Workplace bullying generally

Workplace Bullying and Ethical Leadership – Journal of Values-Based Leadership, 2008 (a more general piece on workplace bullying).

Employee dignity generally

Human Dignity and American Employment Law – University of Richmond Law Review, 2009 (setting forth a framework for examining American employment law and policy through the lens of human dignity).

Employment Law as If People Mattered: Bringing Therapeutic Jurisprudence into the WorkplaceFlorida Coastal Law Review, 2010 (examining how therapeutic jurisprudence can enhance our understanding of the study and practice of employment law).

Unions: Put workplace bullying and abusive supervision on the bargaining table

Dr. Gary Namie reports on his Workplace Bullying Institute blog that in the settlement agreement of the recent Chicago teachers strike, the Chicago Teachers Union “inserted an anti-bullying clause that prohibits abusive and demeaning conduct by principals.”

Terrific! I’ve written about this many times here: We need unions to bargain over workplace bullying and abusive supervision, especially during difficult economic times when bullying behaviors are likely to be on the increase.

It’s a shame that this piece of the Chicago strike settlement isn’t getting more attention, but it’s telling that the teachers union felt strongly enough to bargain for it.

I’ve drafted suggested contract language covering abusive supervision, adapted from the Healthy Workplace Bill, the model anti-bullying statute I authored. Over the years I’ve shared versions of it with unions, and I’m told it has been a useful starting place for their negotiations. I’m happy to share it with other labor activists who provide a union e-mail address and identifying information. Please contact me at


Related posts

Labor Day role model: SEIU/NAGE tackles workplace bullying in Massachusetts

Legal and policy challenges facing public school teachers: A brief report from Memphis

Are some workplaces “bullying clusters”?

Are bullying and related behaviors concentrated within a smaller number of toxic workplaces?

You’re probably familiar with the unfortunate term “cancer cluster,” which refers to a neighborhood or some other defined geographic area whose inhabitants develop cancer at a much higher rate than the general population. It’s usually associated with the possible concentration of carcinogens in the defined area, such as industrial chemicals or pollutants.

The concept of a cancer cluster has led me think about whether we can designate specific workplaces as “bullying clusters.” If we can, is there value in doing so?

Research limitations

Currently, researchers face inevitable limitations on studying specific employers with regard to workplace bullying prevalence and severity. Not surprisingly, employers are reluctant to open themselves up to research studies that may go public, especially findings that might directly compare them to other organizations.

It means that most prevalence studies at our disposal cannot identify whether individual employers are hosts to a disproportionate amount of workplace bullying and similar behaviors. This also inhibits us from drawing conclusions about whether workers in specific occupations are more or less likely to experience workplace bullying.

The “bullying cluster”

So here’s the hypothesis:

Bullying behaviors are not evenly distributed among all employers. Rather, bullying behaviors are disproportionately concentrated in a smaller number of toxic workplaces.

Hence, the bullying cluster.

More questions emerge: For example, what is that disproportionate share? For example, might the old chestnut, the “20/80 rule,” apply here? Could, say, 20 percent of our workplaces host 80 percent of the bullying?

Also, might this be at least a partial explanation of why, in multiple surveys, a fairly large share of respondents report that they’ve never even witnessed workplace bullying? (If you spend most of your work life in functional workplaces, it’s less likely you’ll be exposed to bullying.)

Furthermore, how does this hypothesis relate to other forms of workplace mistreatment? (On this point, I think back to the research of Joel Neuman and Robert Baron, who found positive correlations between all forms of workplace aggression, including bullying.)

Hopefully an enterprising professor or Ph.D. student in organizational psychology is working on these questions, or maybe there’s a terrific study out there that I missed. (If the latter, please send it to me and I’ll amend this post.)

As someone who has been studying workplace bullying for over a decade — albeit not as an empirical researcher — the bullying cluster concept seems self-evident to me. We’re well aware that workplace bullying is not an isolated dynamic. Leadership and workplace culture have a lot to do with it. Organizational consultants are regularly called in to deal with toxic workplaces, and not surprisingly they often find a lot of bullying behaviors within them. And it appears that certain occupational groups — health care, law, and education, to name a few — are associated with high levels of workplace bullying.


If the bullying cluster hypothesis is valid, then both further research and action-oriented responses are impacted. For example:

1. It sharpens our examination of the relationship between workplace culture and bullying behaviors, especially concerning the role of organizational leadership.

2. In assessing and designing interventions for toxic workplaces, bullying would be more seamlessly (if that term applies in such situations) incorporated into any set of responses.

3. When workplace bullying legislation becomes a reality, it’s more likely that eventual claims would emerge from toxic workplaces. Workplaces with fair and ethical employee practices would largely avoid bullying-related lawsuits.

Will workplace bullying become increasingly covert and indirect?

Decades ago, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 declared that discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is an unlawful employment practice. Before the enactment of Title VII, discriminatory employment practices were largely open and transparent. Because it was legal to exclude or classify workers and job applicants based on these categories, there was no need to hide it. Anti-discrimination law changed all that.

Overt workplace discrimination has declined considerably in the U.S. Both anti-discrimination laws and changing social attitudes have had a positive impact in that regard. However, many of those engaging in workplace discrimination have become more savvy about it, using less obvious practices that are harder to challenge, while refraining from uttering statements of bias that once were more common. In such circumstances, getting an employer to take a discrimination complaint seriously can be a more daunting task. The same goes for proving a discrimination claim filed with an agency or court of law.

What does this mean for workplace bullying?

Taking these trends into account, I’d like to offer a reluctant hypothesis: As workplace bullying continues to enter the mainstream of American employee relations, and as advocates for the workplace anti-bullying movement enjoy greater successes in public education, employer awareness, and law reform, bullying behaviors at work will become increasingly covert and indirect.

In other words, those who are inclined to engage in bullying will be aware of more enlightened public attitudes against such mistreatment. In time, they also will face greater liability exposure as the legal system responds more effectively. For some, these developments may discourage them from bullying. Others, however, will become more devious and more ingenious about how they mistreat their co-workers. These covert and indirect forms of bullying are harder to unpack than more transparent forms of work abuse.

The good news is that all of the positive developments concerning workplace bullying eventually should help to decrease the prevalence of bullying behaviors. The bad news is that those who bully others will be more likely to do so in ways that are difficult to sort out and address.

Working Notes: 401(k) blues, challenging unpaid internships, and Shape magazine on workplace bullying

I use this Working Notes feature to flag items worthy of attention. Here are pieces on 401(k) plans and the retirement funding crisis, unpaid internships, and workplace bullying (especially as relevant to younger women).

1. Steven Greenhouse on 401(k) plans — Here’s more evidence of the crisis in retirement funding, in the form of a thorough look at the inadequacy of 401(k) plans as retirement funding vehicles, courtesy of labor reporter Steven Greenhouse of the New York Times. It begins:

JOHN GREENE worked for 30 years at an Oscar Mayer plant in Madison, Wis., deboning hams and loading boxes of hot dogs. His 401(k) plan grew to $60,000, and soon after retiring he began withdrawing $3,600 a year from it, money that allowed him and his wife to take what he called a wondrous two-week trip to Scotland, his ancestral homeland.

But when the financial markets plunged four years ago, his 401(k) dropped to less than $18,000.

2. Plaintiff Eric Glatt on unpaid internships — Eric Glatt, lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Fox Searchlight Pictures for unpaid wages to interns working on the production of “Black Swan,” explains why he and others were not paid for their labor in this blog post for Other Words:

Because I, like scores of other workers on that film, was a relative newcomer to the industry. And being a newcomer to the film industry often means doing unpaid work, an illegal arrangement camouflaged behind the term “internship” — a term the movie industry embraces for its promise of alchemy, magically removing costs from budgets to the delight of producers and shareholders.

Eric is now pursuing his law degree at Georgetown University Law Center. I wrote up a blog post about an enjoyable brunch meeting we held in New York last December with writer Ross Perlin (author of Intern Nation) and journalist Tiffany Ap.

3. Jeannette Moninger for Shape magazine on workplace bullying — The September issue of Shape magazine includes a lengthy, informative feature on workplace bullying by Jeannette Moninger. Jeannette is a health writer who convinced the editors of Shape to devote quite a bit of space to this topic. Hat’s off to both for bringing this information to a demographic (younger women) often targeted by workplace bullying. (It’s also the first and likely only time that I’ll be quoted in Shape!). Here’s the lede:

When Stacie started as an account manager at an architectural firm two years ago, she couldn’t believe her luck. In a tough market, she’d landed her dream job at age 31, complete with a great salary, friendly coworkers, sleek high-tech offices, and a corporate gym membership. There was just one problem: Her boss was a nightmare.

October 19 program on workplace bullying: Who are the aggressors, and what can we do about them?

For those in the Boston area, I’m delighted to announce “Workplace Bullying: Who are the Aggressors, and What Can We Do About Them?,” a program on Friday, October 19, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, at Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont Street, Room 295, in downtown Boston.

The New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University Law School is the sponsor. Here’s the terrific lineup of speakers:

Featured Speaker

Dr. Ronald Schouten

  • Director, Law & Psychiatry Service, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Co-author, Almost a Psychopath: Do I (or Does Someone I Know) Have a Problem with Manipulation and Lack of Empathy?

Distinguished Panel

Ericka Gray, Mediator and Founder, DisputEd

Paula Parnagian, Organizational Consultant and President, World View Services, Inc.

Gregory Sorozan, Union President, SEIU/NAGE Local 282

David Wilson, Employment Lawyer and Partner, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP


David Yamada, Professor of Law and Director, New Workplace Institute, Suffolk University Law School


Advance registration is strongly suggested; spaces are limited.

We originally planned to charge $20 for those not affiliated with Suffolk University, but decided to make the event free of charge. Advance registration is still strongly suggested.

A light breakfast will be available starting at 9:00 a.m.

We’ll be raffling off three copies of Dr. Schouten’s book as part of the program!


Questions? Contact Patricia McLaughlin at

This program is held in conjunction with Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week and supported with funds donated by the law firm of Foley & Lardner.


For more about Ronald Schouten’s Almost a Psychopath, see my recent blog post, here.

Who are our heroes in public life?

With both major political party conventions now concluded and the presidential race in full swing, I find myself asking, who are our genuine heroes in public life today?

Two weeks ago I wrote that I recently discovered the works of renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell. In the fascinating PBS series of televised interviews that Campbell did with Bill Moyers (“The Power of Myth,” first aired in 1988), Campbell described the role of the hero in the stories we read and tell:

Even in popular novels, the main character is a hero or heroine who has found or done something beyond the normal range of achievement and experience. A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

I’ve been a political junkie since I was a teenager. I also happen to think that a lot of good people can be found in public service. But as I consider our prominent political leaders, including the presidential nominees, I lament the paucity of transcendent heroes that Campbell describes.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh. After all, the heroes of our stories have the supreme advantage of being viewed through a hazy, rose-colored, and sometimes fictitious lens. What flesh-and-blood human being can match up to a myth?

Beltway realities

Nevertheless, it’s easy to despair as we view the current scene in the nation’s capital. Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times, reviewing Bob Woodward’s new book (The Price of Politics), captures it this way (link here):

As a plethora of election-year polls and surveys indicate, Americans are fed up with a deeply dysfunctional Washington paralyzed by partisan gridlock and increasingly incapable of dealing with the daunting problems facing the nation: a White House plagued by infighting, disorganization and inconsistent leadership; a Republican Party bent on obstruction and increasingly beholden to its insurgent right wing; and a Congress riven by party rivalries, intraparty power struggles, petty turf wars and an inability to focus on long-term solutions instead of temporary Band-Aids.

Kennedy and Lincoln

In view of the present Washington morass, we naturally yearn for something different. And for many born in the 20th century, John F. Kennedy stands as the fallen hero of our times. But despite Kennedy’s many compelling qualities, the tragedy of his death is in what he might have been, not necessarily in his brief accomplishments before he was assassinated. In fact, JFK’s Camelot was the posthumous invention of Jacqueline Kennedy, who created his legacy from the lyrics of one of his favorite musicals: Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot. With the help of Kennedy hagiographers, it would become so.

Rather, I regard Abraham Lincoln as the kind of leader we need.  To me, he represents the iconic mythological American political hero, as characterized by Joseph Campbell. Lincoln’s life story, chapters of which remain shrouded in mystery despite dozens of well-researched biographies, embraces the ideal of the tragic hero — a man who overcame poverty, loss, and personal demons, only to give his life to something much bigger than himself.

Lincoln was a complicated man. He was idealistic and pragmatic. Some regarded him as a naive, but actually he was very shrewd. He also possessed a great sense of empathy, yet he could order men to their deaths. Though hailed as the “Great Emancipator” of the black slaves, some of his views on race would be considered very objectionable today. He believed in the ideals of democratic government, yet he justified war-time restrictions on civil liberties as a means of saving it.

During the Civil War, Lincoln was burdened by a difficult marriage and the death of a beloved young son, and he struggled with what now would be diagnosed as clinical depression. The weight of the world — or at least of the nation — rested upon his shoulders. Ultimately he emerged triumphant after a terrible war, only to be killed by a Southern partisan.

Worthy of study and emulation

I get why figures like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton mean so much to so many people. And I understand why Ronald Reagan is so beloved by conservatives.

However, in searching for the qualities of wisdom, compassion, resilience, and courage that we need today, I keep returning to Abraham Lincoln as a singular figure worthy of study and emulation.

I admit that Lincoln does a number on me. The more I read about him, the more I sense that — if time travel was possible — he could walk onto virtually any stage and be that rare, selfless, transcendent leader. When I look into the sad, kind, and knowing eyes of his photographs, I see a wisdom that crosses the ages. It is downright chilling to me.


For more about Abraham Lincoln

The most well-regarded one-volume Lincoln biography (among many quality treatments) is David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (1995).


Lincoln photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Working Notes: September 5, 2012


From TCB Review article on workplace bullying

Periodically I use this Working Notes feature to highlight a variety of odds & ends worthy of mention:

1. The Conference Board Review on workplace bullying

It’s a good thing when The Conference Board Review, the flagship publication of The Conference Board — an influential, global research organization promoting best practices in business — runs a major feature on workplace bullying. That’s why I’ve been meaning to share this thorough, well-written article about workplace bullying by Vadim Liberman from the Summer 2012 issue:

Bosses have tormented workers ever since there were workers to torment, but only recently have we become sensitized to what studies indicate is four times more common than sexual harassment. Most workplace bullying doesn’t climax at the point of a pistol, but it can be devastating nevertheless to morale, productivity, and HR departments, strongly affecting not only the target but his whole department—and even the entire company.

Vadim interviewed me at length for the piece, and I am pleased that he dug well beneath the surface to present a lot of information and different points of view to his readers.

2. Brian Austin, Madison WI detective and labor activist, on Labor Day

Here’s a thoughtful, substantive, bracing blog post about the meaning of Labor Day 2012 from Brian Austin, a Madison, Wisconsin detective and labor activist:

Today is labor day.  This should be a day of celebrating the achievements of the labor movement in providing dignity and a voice for all workers, yet this year I am filled with a sense of both urgency and alarm.  Workers in this nation are in real trouble, and many don’t even know it.

Amen. Keep reading.

3. Sara Horowitz, Freelancers Union founder, on Labor Day for independent workers

Sara Horowitz, pioneering founder of the Freelancers Union, looks at the meaning of the labor movement for independent workers in this blog piece for The Atlantic:

At Freelancers Union, we’ve been heavily influenced by [labor leader Sidney] Hillman’s vision. It’s why we built our own social-purpose insurance company to serve our independent workforce. It’s why we’re sponsoring new nonprofit health plans in New York, New Jersey, and Oregon next year. And it’s why we’re opening a bricks-and-mortar, zero-co-pay medical center in Downtown Brooklyn this fall.

Sara and the Freelancers Union are blazing trails to create support for, and solidarity within, the growing sector of independent workers.

4. Employment lawyer Jon Hyman on preventing workplace violence

Ohio employment lawyer Jon Hyman has penned a concise, useful blog piece on preventing workplace violence for Workforce Management that discusses the importance of organizational culture:

1. Treat employees with respect—while they work for you, during a termination, and even after they are no longer your employees.

2. Flag at-risk employees for assistance.

3. Offer employee assistance programs for those who need them.

4. Involve security personnel and local law enforcement at the first hint that an employee might turn violent.

Over the years, Jon and I have had spirited exchanges over the need for workplace bullying legislation. His excellent Ohio Employer’s Law Blog is a terrific resource for employment lawyers and human resources administrators.

Labor Day role model: SEIU/NAGE tackles workplace bullying in Massachusetts

Labor unions are on the firing lines these days, especially those representing public sector workers. In this hostile climate toward organized labor, it’s essential for unions to remind us of their ability to fight for the interests of all working people — and for the rest of us to recognize those efforts.

Fortunately we have some prime examples of that in Massachusetts. For example, during the past five years, it has been my pleasure to witness a major Massachusetts public employee union — the Service Employees International Union/National Association of Government Employees (SEIU/NAGE) — take a lead role in the fight against workplace bullying.

November 2007 presentation

It’s worth repeating a story I shared here some three years ago, describing how SEIU/NAGE got involved with this cause.

In November 2007 I gave a presentation about workplace bullying to an assembly of several hundred SEIU/NAGE union activists. About a third of the way into my talk, I could tell that it was striking a chord with the union members. Heads were nodding in agreement, people were whispering to one another in animated ways, and some even smiled back in appreciation despite the subject matter.

I closed my remarks by urging them, among other things, to inject concerns about workplace bullying and abusive supervision into their contract negotiations. I hoped that they would take some of these ideas and run with them.

Yes, they did!

A few months later, Greg Sorozan, president of SEIU/NAGE Local 282 and a national vice president of NAGE, informed me that as a follow up to that talk, all of the union locals affiliated with SEIU and NAGE were bargaining over concerns about workplace bullying in their contract negotiations.  In January 2009, Greg reported that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had agreed to include a “mutual respect” provision in their new contract that covered, among other things, bullying and abusive supervision.  As a result, some 21,000 state workers became covered by a collective bargaining agreement that includes a workplace bullying provision.

This “mutual respect” provision was one of the first major American collective bargaining agreements to include express protections against bullying at work.  It isn’t perfect:  An alleged violation of the provision may be grieved, but is not arbitrable.  This is a real limitation; it means that unresolved bullying charges will not proceed to arbitration, thus precluding a worker from obtaining an enforceable order to stop the behavior or to make an award.  Nevertheless, it is a huge step forward to have a collective bargaining agreement that covers bullying and allows grievances to be filed when the behavior arises.

And more!

Greg Sorozan also joined the working group to lobby for introduction and passage of the Healthy Workplace Bill.  He asked the union’s lobbyists to seek a sponsor in the Massachusetts legislature, and consequently the assistant majority leader of the state senate, Joan Menard (now retired), agreed to be the lead sponsor for the 2009-10 legislative session.

SEIU/NAGE has continued to lend considerable support behind the Healthy Workplace Bill. They helped us to line up some one dozen sponsors in the House and Senate for the 2012-13 session, including new lead sponsors in Rep. Ellen Story and Sen. Katherine Clark. The bill made several important advances within the tortured legislative process, and we’re now gearing up for the 2013-14 session with a lot of momentum pushing us forward.

Today, Greg serves as a co-coordinator of the HWB campaign in Massachusetts. We’ve also received ongoing support and counsel from SEIU/NAGE lobbyists Jim Redmond and Ray McGrath and communications specialist Lisa Smith. SEIU/NAGE members have been contacting their legislators and asking them to support the HWB.

MTA and MNA too!

SEIU/NAGE isn’t the only Bay State union to play a leadership role in building awareness of workplace bullying and calling for change. For example:

The Massachusetts Teachers Association has endorsed the Healthy Workplace Bill and brought people to testify on behalf of the legislation at hearing on the bill last year before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association has hosted workshops and educational programs on workplace bullying and violence in healthcare workplaces.

The Role of Organized Labor to Combat Workplace Bullying

Together, these unions exemplify how organized labor can take a stand against workplace bullying. Unions that would like to join them can participate in at least four ways:

• Negotiate CBA Provisions — Unions should bargain for collective bargaining agreement provisions that protect their members against abusive supervision. (I can provide suggested contract language upon request. Please contact me at

• Use Existing Contract Provisions — Even in the absence of specific protections against abusive supervision, the general substantive and procedural rights in an agreement may provide legal protections for a bullied union member.

• Educate Members and Resolve Disputes – Shop stewards can be trained to help to identify and resolve bullying situations, including those between union members.  Unions can encourage a culture of safety and respect among their members.

• Support Legal Reform – Unions can back the enactment of anti-bullying legislation such as the Healthy Workplace Bill.

Role models

Unions, like any form of organization, are not perfect. But their presence is a needed source of countervailing power and worker voice. And good unions, like the ones mentioned here, remind us that organized labor stands up not only for their own members, but also for all workers. I’d say that’s a pretty good point to remember on this Labor Day.

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