Oct 16, 2008

GOP and their allies are pulling out all the stops to bust unions

With Senator Barack Obama taking a wider leader after last night's debate and poll results showing that the Democrats will maintain control of the U.S. House and Senate Democrats poised to pick up a veto proof 60-seat majority in the Senate, Republicans and their allies are panicking and doing their best to fool people over the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

The Grand Oil Party and their bankrupt cronies are using the false mantra "Protect the workers' right to a secret ballot" to pull the wool over people's eyes. Michigan GOP Chair Saul Anuzis uses that line in his daily dose of propaganda that he posts on his "blog." No wonder he does not allow comments on that thing he calls a blog.

The U.S. House passed the EFCA with a clear majority vote of 228-183 in March of 2007, but the minority Senate Republicans blocked a vote in the Senate.

Under current U.S. law, if more than 50 percent of employees certify their desire for representation, then a union can choose to form using card check procedures by signing a card and the employer would have to recognize the bargaining unit. However, the employer does not have to recognize the card check petition of the majority and can veto the majority and require a secret-ballot vote overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and it does every single time. Under the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, an employer could only challenge a card check petition if fraud or illegal coercion was alleged.

Once the workers indicate they want a union, the employer calls for an election, and then the intimidation, threats of closure, threats of firing and actual firing begin. Many companies have special teams or flying squads that come in and work to defeat the vote. That includes actually firing organizers, forcing employees to go to mandatory meetings where the union is bashed and threats are made to actual physical violence. They also offer token raises and befits that can easily be rescinded after the union threat has passed.

Union organizers are left to try and reach employers with flyers as they zoom out of the parking lot while the employer has unfettered access.

A union is the most democratic institution in the workplace where the leaders and the contract are voted on. What the GOP and its lackeys want to do is to keep the playing field title to their advantage, and the Employee Free Choice Act works to level it.

In addition to the MIGOP propaganda, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been flooding the airwaves with ads that parrot the GOP mantra in an attempt to stifle union organizing efforts. The Chamber has long been leading the cause of union busting, and this is just one more link in the chain. It's funny that GOP VP nominee Sarah "Spiro" Palin is trotting out her husband's union membership at rallies, but she is leading the charge to bust unions. She knows that the majority of Americans know unions helped create the middle class and raised the standard of living for all.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has gone so far as telling its employees not to vote for Democrats in the 2008 election, especially Obama. The giant, anti-union and anti-worker retailer uses its regular meetings with employees to drive that message home. Wal-Mart is one company notorious for flying squads that come in at the slightest whiff of workers organizing.

The EFCA also addresses companies simply refusing to bargain in good faith and dragging their feet until workers must come back to work or take what ever is offered or starve. If the company and union are not able to reach agreement within 90 days, either party may ask the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to step in. If after 30 days of mediation the FMCS cannot resolve the dispute, it gets referred to an arbitrator whose ruling is binding for two years.

The EFCA also protects those workers who were targeted by anti-union employers who fire them for union activities. There are currently no consequences for a company who illegally fires an employee who supports the union. The new law will require the NLRB to take legal action to immediately reinstate workers fired for union activity. Companies that punish or fire employees for lawful union activity would have to pay triple damages.


ka_Dargo_Hussein said...

This may surprise you, but I haven't been in favor of unions for a long time.

To me, current employment laws are more than adequate in providing gainful employment to anyone that wants to work. However, I have been pretty lucky in my various and several gigs, so I cannot speak to every situation.

As a former Chicago resident, I can recall conventions at McCormick Center which required a union electrician just to replace a 60 watt bulb. That's overkill and does NOTHING to advance the cause of the worker.

However, any employer that tried to tell me who to vote for would immediately see a drop in production. They may employ me, but they do NOT control me. That kinda stuff belongs back in the days of company script.

Communications guru said...

Hey, it's OK if we disagree on an issue once in a while. If we didn't me would not be Democrats; speaking for myself at least since I really don't know your party affiliation.

I can say this about unions from my work experience. I have never been a member of a union, but after seeing what happened to many of my colleagues and seeing the way they were treated at my last fulltime employer, it would have been nice just to have someone stand up for a few basic rights.

I have heard about that light bulb stuff, but I have never seen it before, even when I was in the Navy on ships in the yards dealing with union civilian shipyard workers. For me, at least, wages have never been the driving force for any job I ever had, so just basic worker fairness is why I support unions so strongly.

ka_Dargo_Hussein said...

I was an independent until Monica's blue dress. That was the tipping point that pushed me to the left.

My career track has always been white collar, except when I was in high school/college when I did factory and construction work, so I guess I don't have much experience on the blue collar side, which is what I relate unions to, though I could be wrong.

While I still think current employment laws are more than adequate, I probably shouldn't spout off, as I don't have a dog in this fight, work experience-wise.

Red Or Dead said...

So you are saying you are against a Workers right to have a vote? Sounds like Ohio It is Ok for the Unions(ACORN) to come to a persons home and badger then to sign a card.

I am a Blue collar worker and went thru the Union trying to come in twice, they told lies and were very dishonest in what they said they could do if elected. When they lost the 1st time they left the building directly after the count and did not even have the common courtesy to talk to there supporters standing outside in the rain.
The union organizer would repeatedly come on company property against the rules of the election laws.

How fair is that?

Communications guru said...

You are really misinformed, Commie or dead.
The Employee Free Choice Act has nothing to do with a person’s right to vote or a secret ballott. The workers say they want a union to represent them, then management calls for a vote, not the workers. As for ACORN, first, it is not the “unions.” Second, they are not coming to anyone’s home “badgering them to sign a card.” I know ACORN has become a target for Republicans to divert attention way from their efforts to suppress voter turnout and tamper with machines. Individual employees of ACORN are proibably guilty of paddign their paychecks by turningn in false registergation forms, but it is not voter fraud because none of them will ever vote.

Excuse me if I am just a bit skeptical that you are a “Blue collar worker and went thru the Union trying to come in twice they told lies and were very dishonest.” The employer can call an all day meeting on company time and claim things like if they unionize the company will close and lies and threats like that but union organizers are dishonest? When was the last time a union organizer fired a worker for trying to form a union. How fair is that?

Anonymous said...

That would be an interesting comment if it wasn't so full of lies.

ka_Dargo_Hussein said...

red can't help himself...brett only allows him to say agreed upon talking points. If red doesn't, then brett won't let him have his daily Cleveland Steamer.

Communications guru said...

You’re more than welcome, who every your are, to point one out, if you can.