Responding to AT&T Protests, ALEC Bill Introduced in Georgia
In response to Atlanta Jobs with Justice and Occupy Atlanta’s on-going occupation of regional AT&T headquarters in solidarity with 740 workers who were laid off. Many of the workers, who are members of CWA Local 3204, are maintaining a steady presence/picket outside of the company to demand the company reinstate them.
In response to the sustained protests, Georgia State Senator Don Balfour recently proposed legislation (SB 469) aimed at destroying labor unions, debilitating effective dissent and criminalizing planned peaceful direct action. SB 469 would criminalize forms of public pickets for economic justice, effectively de-fund Georgia’s unions, and further penalized political non-violent civil disobedience. In short, the bill is a full scale assault on fundamental human and democratic rights.
The bill shares characteristics of model legislation from ALEC, an out-of-state, secretive, corporate-funded council that hands state legislators laws designed to benefit CEOs. Some of its leading members include the likes of Walmart, CocaCola and, you guessed it, AT&T.
It also just so happens that Don Balfour is the Vice President of Waffle House. Atlanta Jobs with Justice figured that Don Balfour's customer base might be interested to know that the VP of Waffle House is pushing legislation that will shut down free speech rights. So after rallying against SB 469 at the state capital last week, 300 unions, community leaders, students and others marched over to the nearest Waffle House to tell them what their company’s executives were up to.
Stay tuned for more at www.AtlantaJwJ.org!