New law intends to protect workers free speech rights
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)-- At a time when workers across the state are organizing or going on strike against companies such as Amazon and Starbucks, the Governor signs legislation intending to protect their free speech rights.
“What we’re trying to protect workers from is having to feel obligated to attend anti-propaganda meetings that a lot of these companies force their workers to participate in,” said Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-13th Senate District).
Sen. Ramos said workers should be able to choose not to participate in anti-union meetings and not receive any repercussions.
Some Republican lawmakers who voted against this legislation feel is one-sided.
“What this bill does is it tells employers that they cannot speak to their employees when it comes to something like whether or not they wish to unionize,” said Sen. George Borrello (R-57th Senate District).
The new law prohibits employers from coercing their workers into attending meetings concerning an employer's beliefs--that could include anti-union views.
Sen. Ramos argues employers does not nor should not have protective rights to impose their views on their workers.
“A person doesn’t cease to be a person doesn’t cease to believe in what they believe in simply because they’re working at a specific store or a specific company," she said.
Erie News Now reached out to Starbucks and Amazon for comment but they did not respond in time for publication.