Hello, and welcome to Labor Diary Rescue.
Before I do anything, while looking at the pro-union diaries this week, I saw that well known labor activist Tasini has decided to run for the US Senate in New York. Sometimes you wonder why diaries like that don’t make the rec list. So I’m hyperlinking it. Go show your support by donating and (if you live in New York) volunteer. We need our own netroots people in elected office, let alone the US Senate!
Here’s the rules for those that don’t know them:
The LDR is done every Monday and Thursday night, barring a bad internet connection, my insane work schedule, or Acts of God (yes, it’s a legal term. I know because it’s in my union contract). In order to be rescued your diary must be pro-labor, have the words "union" or "labor" in the tag line, and have less than 100 comments. Diaries are below the fold.
Seth D has two diaries that are about the need to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. The first is Corporate Hypocrisy on Bargaining Highlights Need for Employee Free Choice.
The misleading attacks by Big Business on the Employee Free Choice Act now are aimed at the provision that would guarantee that workers can get a fair first contract. Their scare tactics are not only misleading, they're hypocritical.
Right now, workers lack a legal means to ensure they get a fair first contract. Recent research shows that even after workers successfully win a union and the ability to bargain, they're too often blocked from getting a fair first contract. Fifty-two percent of workers don't have a contract a full year after the election, and 37 percent don't have a first contract two years after the election. For too many workers, the promise of the freedom to bargain is out of reach because the law doesn't offer them any help.
The Employee Free Choice Act provides a process to help first-time bargainers to reach an agreement, through mediation and, for issues the parties are unable to resolve on their own, arbitration. The reason we need first-contract arbitration is to create an incentive for companies to bargain voluntarily with their workers.
The second, Former NLRB Examiner: We Need Employee Free Choice shows us more reasons why we need EFCA passed.
Ask Shannon Hilt, who’s seen our broken system for forming unions firsthand, and she’ll tell you that there’s no question: Workers need the Employee Free Choice Act.
Hilt spent three years as a field examiner for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), overseeing the elections process and investigating unfair practices. She says the system we have now, one in which companies, not workers, have all the power, isn’t free, it isn’t fair and doesn’t protect workers.
Writing in the Boulder, Colo., Daily Camera, Hilt explains how her years of experience as an NLRB field examiner have convinced her that we need fundamental labor law reform that gives workers, not their bosses, the ability to decide how they form a union and bargain.
Union Review gives us the tally on the people killed trying to organize in 91 Unionists Killed in 2008, 49 in Colombia Alone and as you can see from the title, the numbers are high.
A total of 91 union members were killed worldwide last year, the same number as in 2007. But more than half (49) were killed in Colombia alone, 10 more than last year, making it once again the most dangerous country for trade unionists, according to the International Trade Union Confederation’s (ITUC’s) "Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights."
And once again Tasini graces our presence with A President Who Respects A Picket Line: What A Concept (seriously, go and back this guy. We need him.)
We can, and will, have differences with the president and his Administration on issues, particularly on the shaping of economic policy (single-payer, Mr. President). But, it's nice to see that we at least have a leader who understands what a picket line is.
Djdissent keeps it short, but noteworthy with his diary Brink's, Inc Anti Union discussion. If Djdissent is reading this, please give us a further explanation on this. My union represents security workers and I’m wondering if they’re involved.
I'm a Brink's employee. I somehow got invited to a conference call whose stated purpose is to formulate a strategy to avoid Union formation within the company at present and into the future.
Ralph Lopez shows us the connection between Labor and anti-war groups in U.S. Labor's Muscle Against War Bill, Just Four Votes
With the Iraq-Afghanistan War Supplemental Appropriations Bill meeting a surprisingly high level of resistance and weekend voice-mails flooding fence-sitters, it could be coalitions like U.S. Labor Against the War which pushes the sudden show of people-power against the war over the top. A cursory look at major contributions from just one brother/sisterhood, the international electrical workers, (IBEW) shows that labor is a major supporter of many fence-sitters in this vote, of which just four more are needed to vote "no" to send the war bill back to the drawing board:
Mike Thompson (D-Calif) $9,500
Keith Ellison (D-Minn) $8,000
Artur Davis (D-Ala) $5,000
Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) $5,000
Jackie Speier (D-Calif) $2,500
Keith Ellison (D-Minn) $1,000
LaEscapee writes about the so-called "free trade" agreement between the US and Peru that was put into place in 2007 in the diary Another Bush Legacy, Another Democratic Failure. He’s angry at the Democrats that continue to allow our jobs to be outsourced, and I don’t blame him.
You may wonder why I am rehashing and argument that has obviously been lost. I do it to highlight the affect that flawed agreements such as this have not only on our lives but on the lives of those people in other countries when we force our will upon them. Also as a reminder that when the Panamanian and Columbian FTA come up we might not forget just what happens when issues aren't legitimately addressed in advance.
That’s all for now, guys. Enjoy the diaries and treat the comments as an open thread. And please post comments. Large numbers of comments get attention. Thanks!