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.