The Price of Free Speech

An Alabama factory worker has learned what it means to stand by her principals. Lynne Gobbell had a Kerry/Edwards sticker on her car, and was told by her boss that if she didn’t remove it, she would be fired. She told him that he couldn’t tell her who to vote for (though he often included Pro-Bush letters in her paystubs), to which he replied, “Get out.” She was terminated that day.

There is such a thing as “right to work”, where you can be dismissed immediately without cause. Of course this wasn’t without cause; this was a carried out threat, and this is the most disgusting, but not abnormal Republican behaviour.

What’s worse is the response by “dittoheads” on message boards. The first time I searched by this story, I found it posted on FreeRepublic.com on a message board. The first posters didn’t respond to the story, except to insult. They can’t defend the horrible actions of this woman’s boss; they can only dehumanize her to make themselves feel better.

Article archived here, but please go read the childlike responders at freerepublic.com.Moulton woman says she lost job for sporting Kerry sticker on car
By THE DECATUR DAILY
Sep 13, 2004, 19:03

By Clyde L. Stancil
DAILY Staff Writer
cstancil@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

MOULTON Lynne Gobbell never imagined the cost of a John Kerry-John Edwards bumper sticker could run so high.

Lynne Gobbell said her boss fired her last week because of the Kerry-Edwards campaign sticker on the back of her car.
Gobbell of Moulton didn’t pay a cent for the sticker that she proudly displays on the rear windshield of her Chevrolet Lumina, but said it cost her job at a local factory after it angered her boss, Phil Gaddis.

Gaddis, a Decatur bankruptcy attorney, owns Enviromate, a cellulose insulation company in Moulton.

Gaddis did not return phone calls from THE DAILY about the alleged Thursday firing.

Gobbell said she consulted a lawyer, but then changed her mind about going to see him. She said she has cried about the incident and must do without income for three weeks while the state unemployment commission decides if she is eligible for compensation.

Gobbell said she was averaging 50 to 60 hours a week on the plant’s bagging machine.

“The lady there (at the unemployment commission) said that she has never heard of a firing like this before,” Gobbell said.

Gobbell gave this account:

“We were going back to work from break, and my manager told me that Phil said to remove the sticker off my car or I was fired,” she said. “I told him that Phil couldn’t tell me who to vote for. He said, ‘Go tell him.’ ”

She went to Gaddis’ office, knocked on the door and entered on his orders.

“Phil and another man who works there were there,” she said. “I asked him if he said to remove the sticker and he said, ‘Yes, I did.’ I told him he couldn’t tell me who to vote for. When I told him that, he told me, ‘I own this place.’ I told him he still couldn’t tell me who to vote for.”

Gobbell said Gaddis told her to “get out of here.”

“I asked him if I was fired and he told me he was thinking about it,” she said. “I said, ‘Well, am I fired?’ He hollered and said, ‘Get out of here and shut the door.’ ”

She said her manager was standing in another room and she asked him if that meant for her to go back to work or go home. The manager told her to go back to work, but he came back a few minutes later and said, ” ‘I reckon you’re fired. You could either work for him or John Kerry,’ ” Gobbell said.

“I took off my gloves and threw them in the garbage and left,” Gobbell said.

Though she is unemployed and uncertain if she will get her job back, Gobbell said, she doesn’t regret her decision to keep the sticker on her windshield.

“I would like to find another job, but I would take that job back because I need to work,” she said. “It upset me and made me mad that he could put a letter in my check expressing his (political) opinion, but I can’t put something on my car expressing mine.”

She was referring to a flier that she said Gaddis placed in employee envelopes to remind them of the positive impact that President Bush’s policies have had on them. An employee at the plant who would not identify himself confirmed the contents of the letter.

Gobbell provided a copy of the flier. It says:

“Just so you will know, because of the Bush tax (cut):
# I was able to buy the new Hammer Mill
# I was able to finance our receivables
# I was able to get the new CAT skid steer
# I was able to get the wire cutter
# I was able to give you a job”

It further says:

“You got the benefit of the Bush tax cut. Everyone did.”

ads by google