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Ralph Nader has a great article on Labor rights today.  I hope Edwards, Clinton, Obama, and company start talking about the labor reform the Senate could pass today and don't force him to run for office again.

This August marks the 60th anniversary of the Taft-Hartley Act, one of the great blows to American democracy, going into effect.

Legally, Taft-Hartley: impeded employees' right to join together in labor unions; undermined the power of unions to represent workers' interests effectively; and authorized an array of anti-union activities by employers.
...
Taft-Hartly defined "employee" for purposes of the Act as excluding supervisors and independent contractors. This diminished the pool of workers eligible to be unionized, and has become an increasingly serious problem as courts and the National Labor Relations Board have authorized ever-expanding employer definitions of what constitutes a supervisor.
Roll Back the New Gilded Age: Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act

ever-expanding employer definitions of what constitutes a supervisor.

Ralph is talking about the Kentucky River decision, which makes anyone who has some autonomy in their job potentially a supervisor.  "Supervisor" used to mean that you had the power to hire, fire, or discipline someone.  Now if you ask someone to clean the bathroom while you flip burgers, you may be a supervisor.

Major unions in the United States have rallied around the Employee Free Choice Act, which would begin to repair some of the damage caused by Taft-Hartley and the anti-union culture it engendered. They should also speak out for abolition of Taft-Hartley, and not concede this monumental employer usurpation, during this period of giant multinational corporate power.

Once again, neither the AFL-CIO nor other major unions have denounced what they believe to be the most anti-labor law ever enacted by the federal government. Such chronic resignation would never be the case within the business community were there a similar law on the books stifling their organizational powers for so many years

I've been all over the Unions and our Democratic Senators for their idiotic stance on scuttling the Employee Free Choice Act this year by insisting on "mandatory" card check (note that it is still an option for organizers to chose a secret ballot election).  Ralph makes a good point that they don't even talk about Taft-Hartley.

So how about it Democratic candidates and Unions?  Will you support incremental reform in the form of significant penalties this year, "mandatory" card check next year, and after that try to repeal Taft-Hartley?  

Wouldn't enacting further labor reform be easier if there was stronger penalties for labor violations?

The Red Scare is over, unless the Chinese who are making our children's toys today have accidently put lead in the red paint.  Oh, that circuit board in your iPod?  Coming from high tech I can assure you that we are very careful to ensure that our suppliers and their subcontractors follow enviromentally sound practices and that board production is much cleaner today than it was in the past.  Admittedly, we probably aren't as thorough in our reviews as Mattel.  Anyhow our computers and electronics all cost less which is the bottom line after all.

Race you there.

Originally posted to try democracy on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 01:44 AM PDT.

Poll

Labor reform today should be

10%4 votes
36%14 votes
42%16 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
10%4 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips. Did you vote the Pole? "Solidarity!" ;) (5+ / 0-)

    Please read my series on Labor, the GOP's #1 fear. Organized, we shall overcome!

    by try democracy on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 01:58:00 AM PDT

  •  You don't seem to get it (0+ / 0-)

    I've been all over the Unions and our Democratic Senators for their idiotic stance on scuttling the Employee Free Choice Act this year by insisting on "mandatory" card check (note that it is still an option for organizers to chose a secret ballot election).

    There will be no labor law reform until 2009.  Any pro-labor bill will vetoed by W.  Whatever we say now if to prepare for 2009.  And we want card check in 2009.  

    But I agree that the penalties are the most important thing.  But fines are not sufficient, there needs to be mandatory jail time for anti-union badmouths and the CEOs who order them, which is a powerful deterrent.  Union avoidance schemes need to be punished using RICO, and 20 years in prison.

    •  I get it. There is already a majority (0+ / 0-)

      of Senators that approve of the Employee Free Choice Act in its current state.  One of them a Republican!

      I recall from civics class that a veto can be overcome by a 2/3 majority in the Senate.  So 1/3 of the Senators can still take the stance that they do not support enforcement of current US law and the bill can pass Bush even if he tries to veto it first.

      Look he already supports it:

      "The US is a nation of laws and those laws must be enforced." -W
      http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

      Please read my series on Labor, the GOP's #1 fear. Organized, we shall overcome!

      by try democracy on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 06:26:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you really believe (0+ / 0-)

        that there is a veto proof majority in either house for EFCA without card check?

        I don't.  The whole Rethug bullshit about card check being undemocratic is a smokescreen.  They would call this new EFCA(w/o card check) as "anti-business".

        There aren't going to be more than a handful of Rethugs who would support the watered down EFCA, and probably not enough to overcome the filibuster.  

        •  Well, I would like to have the Democrats (0+ / 0-)

          at least change the debate from "card check" is undemocratic, to "I don't want to support enforcement of labor laws because they are bad for the economy."  I doubt Republicans would be able to say the latter because they have too many Union supporters in the form of prison guards, police, and government workers who form our permanent government.  In fact, the only Republican proposal is to ban optional card check.  If they could they would talk about further labor rights reduction.  Frankly I think they would be forced to pass the bill and then would count on a Conservative president and stacked NLRB and courts to not bother to enforce the law or penalties.

          Letting the Republicans get away with their current strong rhetoric is unforgivable weak leadership and strategy by the Democrats and the Union Leaders whose money they are chasing.

          Please read my series on Labor, the GOP's #1 fear. Organized, we shall overcome!

          by try democracy on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 04:21:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I like the idea of using RICO n/t. (0+ / 0-)

      Please read my series on Labor, the GOP's #1 fear. Organized, we shall overcome!

      by try democracy on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 06:31:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One little success in labor reform would (0+ / 0-)

    restore American's confidence in Unions and the Labor Movement.  Who would want to join a union and fight for labor rights for a group that is so willing to accept defeat?  

    I wouldn't risk my job for that.

    Please read my series on Labor, the GOP's #1 fear. Organized, we shall overcome!

    by try democracy on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 07:00:06 AM PDT

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