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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 4, 2009 at 8:51 PM

State law to restrict employers’ ability to talk about religious or political matters

A relevant workplace issue, not another union issue

I cannot fathom how you took a bill that prohibits religious and political meetings called by the employer and argued it was a bill about union issues [“Another one-sided labor bill for Washington,” editorial, March 2].

Your editorial states, “In America, religious and political beliefs are private, and employers generally have no reason to hold meetings about them.”

But, in my experience, employers, as well as managers and employees, make use of any chance to bring up their religious and political beliefs in the workplace, often in subtle ways. Are you not aware of prayer before work in many places of work? Just watch the prayers at beginning of sporting events and U.S. Army raids.

What do you think goes on in the privacy of an office meeting where the employer is evangelical or has strongly held political views?

Your editorial board needs a little workplace experience beyond The Seattle Times.

— David Caley, Redmond

Employers need communication restriction, not unions

Regarding The Times’ March 2 editorial, there was one point not touched on.

While the employer can force employees to attend meetings to discuss labor issues, unions must rely on volunteerism to attend any union functions, and they must do so during off-work hours. This can clearly favor the employer over the union, with respect to communications.

— Brian Peterson, Seattle

Comments | More in Unions, Washington Legislature

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