It was an unusual scene at the Nebraska State Capitol: on one side, the elected state treasurer, announcing from taxpayer property the creation of a new "grassroots" organization that opposes the Employee Free Choice Act. And on the other side were the grassroots themselves: dozens of working Nebraskans from all walks of life who came to show their support for the very same bill.
Now I was at that press conference, and, frankly, I still don't know much about this new organization. I don't know if "Nebraskans for Workers Rights" includes any real workers (in any case, none were present that day and none are even mentioned on their website), and I don't know where they get their funding from.
But I do know something about the people on the other side: Nebraskans who believe that workers have a right to organize without their bosses' interference. I know that while our corporate opposition has been pounding the airwaves with deceptions and passing out checks to elected officials, these folks have been pounding the pavement every day on their own.
I caught up with some of these workers at a rally they held later in Omaha, and this is how they explained to me their cause:
I still don't know just who's behind our opposition, but I do know these people above. After all, these are the people I work for.
In the coming weeks and months, I'll continue to present more stories from these workers and information on the issues that affect their lives: job creation, health care, and the freedom to choose how to form a union.
In the process, I hope to confront some of the misconceptions fostered by our opposition on these issues. And, with with any luck, maybe we'll find out just who our opposition's been working for, too.
Until next time,
SEIU: Change That Works Nebraska