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Joe Wilson
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The buzz on right-wing blogs (started by Andrew Breitbart) over the last couple of days is about a statement Joe (You lie!) Wilson (R-SC) made about the NLRB and non-right to work states:
[T]he NLRB’s actions have turned the 28 force-unionism states into “Roach Motels” that will trap employers with the help of the NLRB, and prevent them from ever leaving or expanding outside these states’ borders.

First off, there is no such thing as a “force-unionism” state. Second, Roach Motels? Really? Are you serious about that? Let's set the record straight, shall we?

Right to work laws lower wages for everyone. The average worker in a right to work state makes about $5,333 a year less than workers in other states ($35,500 compared with $30,167. Weekly wages are $72 greater in free-bargaining states than in right to work states ($621 versus $549). Working families in states without right to work laws have higher wages and benefit from healthier tax bases that improve their quality of life.

Oh yeah, and no one is forced to join a union!

Federal law already protects workers who don’t want to join a union to get or keep their jobs. Supporters claim right to work laws protect employees from being forced to join unions. Don’t be fooled—federal law already does this, as well as protecting nonmembers from paying for union activities that violate their religious or political beliefs. This individual freedom argument is a sham.

Not enough for you Mr. (You Lie) Wilson. How about this? It is safer to work in a non-right to work state:

Right to work endangers safety and health standards that protect workers on the job by weakening unions that help to ensure worker safety by fighting for tougher safety rules. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of workplace deaths is 51 percent higher in states with right to work, where unions can’t speak up on behalf of workers.

Right to Work is an oxymoron: The only “rights” you have in a right to work state is to have lower wages and poor working conditions.  Representative Wilson—You Lie.

Sadly, the American people will not know that you are liar. Our media has become nothing more than a tool of corporate America, putting ratings ahead of the truth and treating the news as entertainment.

Instead of passing restrictive and dangerous laws like “right to work,” I suggest that if Congress is so concerned with the plight of the working stiff that Congress pass laws that require employers to do the following (or in some cases, actually enforce existing laws):

  • Provide a living wage
  • Provide a safe and healthy workplace
  • Provide bathroom breaks
  • Provide sick time
  • Provide vacation time
  • Provide affordable healthcare coverage
  • Provide a pension plan (not some crappy 401k, but an actual pension)
  • Equal pay for equal work (regardless of gender, color, ethnicity, hair color, freckles, etc.)
  • Allow workers to organize without interference
  • Enforce laws against wage theft (or actually treat wage theft for what it is: a crime)
  • Enact privacy laws that prevent employers from spying on us (they don't need to know what we did last night on our off time...employers need to stay out of our Facebook/Twitter feed)
  • Make pre-employment drug tests illegal—they are a waste of time, money and an invasion of privacy. Seriously, about 7.1% of the population uses illegal you invade the privacy of 92.9% of us who don't use illegal drugs?
  • Stop employers from moving our jobs overseas

Now, I am sure that this list could go on and on for a while...but I am going to give our Republican senators and representatives a bit of advice. Don't want a union in your wealthy benefactor’s shop, then tell them to treat his people right. People should come before profits. Don't let them tell me how hard it is to be a job creator...tell me you are proud of the way they treat their employees. If one of your job creator friends treats their employees like crap, stand with us and denounce them, don't make excuses for them.

It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.
-Theodore Roosevelt

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 04:04 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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