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In case you needed any more convincing that we need the public option:

"What if your employer told you that in order to keep your health coverage you and your spouse must submit to invasive health screenings from your insurer. If you refused you’d lose the health coverage you’ve always counted on. Oh, and the company is self-insured but they promise they won’t use your private health information to decide whether to keep your coverage, hire you, fire you, or make you’re spouse go on a diet.

Unbelievable, but that’s what my employer wants to force us to do! That’s one of the reasons why more than 700 of us are on strike."

That's from an email action alert sent by one of the workers leading that strike, William Kirby Jr. of Workers United Local 1426 in Terre Haute, IN.  William and the more than 700 union members he works with are employed by Bemis manufacturing-- they make flexible food packaging for companies like Tyson's chicken and packaged salads.

I know when I heard about the situation he and his union brothers and sisters are facing I got sick to my stomach. These brave workers are the backbone of their town's economy. The obscene demands their employer is making could all too easily happen to anyone and they need your support.

Read the rest of William's email below andplease click here to send a message to his employer. The story is dominating regional media but I've seen very little blog coverage so far.

Your email to the President of  Bemis, Henry Theisen, really can make a difference.

"Tell our employer, Bemis Manufacturing company, that workers aren’t lab rats.
My coworkers and I work in Terre Haute, Indiana. We make the flexible food packaging you see on your grocery store's shelves. Our company has been union for 52 years and is successful, with profits up more than 16%.

We did not make the decision to strike lightly. In an effort to avoid a strike we made an alternative offer to work without a contract while the bargaining continued but Bemis refused and actually lowered its offer. They even cut off insurance benefits which we had already paid for and demanded we accept low wage temp workers turning good jobs into McJobs.

Will you take a stand with us?

In solidarity,
William J. Kirby Jr.
Vice President Local 1426 in Terre Haute
Chicago Midwest Regional Joint Board, Workers United"

Originally posted to Elana Levin on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 09:32 AM PDT.

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