09/21/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

"We Aren't Lab Rats!" Say Striking Workers. Online Action Alert!

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

"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

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

our employer, Bemis Manufacturing company, that workers aren’t lab

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.

President Local 1426 in Terre Haute

Chicago Midwest Regional
Joint Board, Workers United"