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Support for Sandy Nelson’s ACLU Suit to Protect Workers’ Free Speech

WHEREAS, the labor movement has a proud history of supporting worker who are fighting back against management’s increasing attempts to control every aspect of their lives on and off the job; and

WHEREAS, In 1990, award-winning lesbian journalist, veteran unionist, and longtime radical, Sandy Nelson, was removed from her education reporting position to a swing-shift editing job at The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington for participating in off-duty electoral activities to win and retain anti-discrimination laws that would protect job and housing rights of lesbians and gay men; and

WHEREAS, labor and the sexual minority movement has a vital interest in protecting and encouraging journalists like Nelson who are fair, accurate, and knowledgable about labor issues because of their unionism and involvement in movements for civil liberties; and

WHEREAS, after the NLRB refused to reinstate Nelson, and the newspaper decertified the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild Local 82, the ACLU of Washington sued The News Tribune on Nelson’s behalf in June 1993 and plans to continue this case which was heard before the Washington State Supreme Court earlier this month; and

WHEREAS, Nelson’s 6-year battle, with publicity provided by the Sandy Nelson Defense Committee, has garnered broad public support, has been featured in Newsweek and Ms., and has been endorsed by the Newspaper Guild, the Washington State Labor Council, international AFSCME, Northwest Women’s Law Center, Out Front Labor Coalition/Pride at Work Seattle, Seattle Gay News, and many other unions and community organizations; and

WHEREAS, a victory in this case will help protect the constitutional rights to free speech and association of reporters and all working people;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Second Biennial National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Labor Conference contribute a financial donation to the Sandy Nelson Defense Committee to continue to publicize this important case.

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