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Union members at Indiana statehouse protesting anti-union bill.
The horrors of the 2012 Republican platform are legion, from abortion to marriage equality to to financial reform. To that list, you can of course add labor issues, where the Republican Party's quest to have its 2012 platform be not just bad but decisively worse than previous ones continues. Josh Eidelson compares 2012 to 2008:
The 2008 platform affirmed “the right of states to enact Right-to-Work laws” in the same breath as the right of workers to bargain collectively. In contrast, the 2012 version “encourage[s]” states to pass such laws, and endorses “the enactment of a National Right-to-Work law to promote worker freedom and to promote greater economic liberty.” [...]

The new platform also takes a more hostile stance towards construction unions, demanding “an end to the Project Labor Agreements” and “repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act.” Both PLAs and Davis-Bacon establish wage standards for construction projects, making it easier for contractors that use union labor to compete with cheaper non-union contractors for work (Davis-Bacon covers federal contracts; PLAs are project-specific agreements).

Republicans would also "rein in" the "overreaching regulation agenda" of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, i.e. the effort to keep workers from being killed, injured, or made sick by their jobs. In fact, they'd rein OSHA in with a law they've oh-so-cleverly titled the REINS Act, under which Congress would have to vote on any regulation with more than $100 million of annual economic impact. Congress would have 70 days to vote on these regulations, so basically, either no regulation would ever be passed or that would be all Congress did. Which is the point. Already, safety and health regulations are being passed at a glacial pace, with some delayed for decades.

Workers in the states do have one thing going for them, though: They're not in the Pacific territories, which the Republican Party thinks "should have flexibility to determine the minimum wage, which has seriously restricted progress in the private sector." That's what you'd call a foot in the door on the way to repealing the federal minimum wage altogether.

The basic message of the Republican platform on labor issues is this: Rights are there to be taken from workers and given to the 1 percent. Workers should lose the right to be paid a decent wage or protected from harm; the 1 percent should gain the right to pay lower wages and ignore safety concerns. Intrade should open betting on whether it'll take until 2024 for the Republican platform to advocate abolishing the minimum wage or whether they'll get to it sooner than that.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The republican wish list continues to become more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    focused, and in the case of labor issues, their desire to step on and grind workers and their rights further into the ground demonstrates just how much the republican party is the party of the one percent, and it is the one percenters who are wearing the boot.

    Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense. Carl Sagan

    by sjburnman on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:41:03 AM PDT

  •  thanks Laura (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Larsstephens

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 02:22:00 PM PDT

  •  Given the decades long effort (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    by Republicans to pass "right to work," it seems Democrats should be fighting back just as hard to roll them back.  Is there any state level campaigns to do that?  Is this a standard part of state platforms?  

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Notes on a Theory

    by David Kaib on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:10:56 PM PDT

    •  Oh yes. (4+ / 0-)

      Why do you think Right to Work for Less never made it close to the Ohio ballot this year? Republicans knew it would destroy them in Ohio and pulled their support. But given the pushback of repealing anti-union SB 5 last year by a 60-40 margin, it will be years before the anger dies down here.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

      by anastasia p on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:29:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Because people with accumulated wealth should be (7+ / 0-)

    able to use that to take away any rights you have for appropriate pay for your services. Same way corporations need to be free from regulations that keep them from polluting land air and water they do not own, because they need to be free to do so but you should not be free from their pollution or part of the profits from their pollution...

  •  You NAILED it Laura! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:19:57 PM PDT

  •  nothing else is expected from the 1% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The platform of the 1% will not benefit any other % of the population. Any election result better than 1% is the direct result of deception and vote buying

  •  Sooner (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, ranton

    Because the Republican Party will not be able to survive trending in this direction until 2024. If they do, they'll be dust. If they're going to make a grab at it, they'll so in 2016. I mean, look at how they escalated from a year of the most extreme abortion measures and the largest number of them we've ever seen in legislatures across the country to attacking women's access to contraception in a matter of MONTHS.

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

    by anastasia p on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:28:26 PM PDT

    •  2016 is the point of Ryan for V.P. (0+ / 0-)

      Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

      by ranton on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:08:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Debate Question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, ranton

    Mr. President, Governor Romney, will you ask Congress to increase the federal minimum wage; if yes, by how much, and if no, why not?

  •  $9.00 an hour, baby (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's the latest in fashion. You're gonna love it.

    Mitt Romney is to Successful Businessman as Serial Rapist is to Successful Ladies Man

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:43:11 PM PDT

  •  Who Disagrees With the General Principle? (0+ / 0-)

    Politics is the war over degree and pace.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:43:18 PM PDT

  •  The war on workers is why we have a deficit (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, KingBolete, ranton, JBraden, Jim R

    It's not just the tax evasion by the Romney class. It's not just the reckless tax cutting by Republicans. It's not just the endless wars they won't pay for.

    It's also the fact that everywhere they work to drive wages down, eliminate jobs, and cut benefits, they weaken the entire economic web that used to strengthen this country. Everyone used to get a share of economy when it grew - now all the growth gets siphoned off to the 1% who've made a science out of paying nothing back to the larger society that makes it all possible.

    States and local governments are crippled when the majority of their citizens do less well year after year; property taxes, sales taxes, school taxes, state/local income taxes - all those revenues end up declining. But... the local needs those revenues support don't decline. Add in an economic collapse, and that accelerates the trend in a feed-back loop.

    Factor in the obsession with cutting Federal income taxes and Federal aid to state and local governments by the G.O.P. (Yes Paul Ryan, we're talking about you) and a bad situation only gets worse. While the Federal government doesn't have to balance its budget the way state and local governments do, (and Federal transfers keep a lot of red states running), the deficit obsession has been used to cripple that ability to address economic shortfalls.

    The short name for this is "austerity" and it's widely seen, God help us, as something we should be striving for in a bipartisan grand bargain.

    In short, all of these trends together add up to a death spiral that is turning America into a third world style economy with a handful of super rich using the government as a kleptocracy, while ensuring millions remain in misery "because they choose to be poor" and other self-validating bullshit.

    Bottom line - we need to start rebuilding the economy from the bottom up, not the top down. That means raising wages and expanding the social safety net.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:45:09 PM PDT

    •  People working at the RNC (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, SME in Seattle, JeffW, ranton

      (building services, for example) were paid less than minimum wage.

      A travesty.

      Carolyn Walker said she has been cleaning the convention center for 13 years. She had been making $8 per hour until a few years ago, when the cleaning contract went to another company, Cleanevent USA. The new company meant a new, downsized paycheck. She's now making minimum wage -- $7.67 per hour. But that wasn't the only hit to her wallet.

      Walker said the company charges her $6 per week for uniforms. "It stinks to tell you the truth," she said. "We work very hard." It effectively means she's making less than Florida's minimum wage.

    •  Another part of the picture is the hell-bent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      mission to gain control or destroy institutions they do not control and replace them with what they do.  Public education is a perfect example as are the corporate control of mass media.

      Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

      by ranton on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:13:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Given the steep increase in corporate profits (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, KingBolete, ranton

    in recent years, as well as record corporate profits, there is no merit whatsoever to complaints about the minimum wage hurting the economy.

    Paul Ryan tried to kill Medicare. Joe Biden killed bin Laden.

    by ScottyUrb on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:49:33 PM PDT

  •  I knew they wanted to weaken OSHA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SME in Seattle, JeffW

    even though they often use it to argue that unions are unnecessary for bargaining on conditions. Just goes to show that when anti-labor Republicans are around, government alone cannot be trusted to ensure dignified and safe working conditions.

    Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

    by fearlessfred14 on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:51:24 PM PDT

  •  So if Biden had said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they'll put you in REINS they wouldn't have gotten the vapors, but applauded. Good to know.

    Join Soulforce-seeking Justice for God's GLBT children.

    by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:58:08 PM PDT

  •  I don't think it will happen but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites

    any scenario in which President Obama lost would likely also include the loss of the Senate. If that happened, a nationwide right to work for less law would be a dangerous possibility. Ryan has already said he is for it.

    Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts
    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    by We Won on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:18:02 PM PDT

  •  And hundreds of union members will vote Repub. (0+ / 0-)


    If Obama didn't get Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger; then Bin Laden didn't take down the World Trade Center because he didn't fly the planes.

    by Bush Bites on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:19:44 PM PDT

    •  many because they only get RW radio (0+ / 0-)

      and their progressive brothers don't protest those radio stations

      yeah some are racists and idiots, but i'll bet a lot of them just go along and would jump ship if they saw unions protesting those stations and had to learn why

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:50:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i can't believe no unions protesting RW radio (0+ / 0-)

    after years of union bashing and lies from team limbaugh.

    it was the only reason scott walker and the rest of the  union busting teabaggers ever won anything and the only reason they're still in office

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:47:29 PM PDT

  •  Someone please inform Republicans that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    working people are customers that spend money when they have good jobs, affordable housing and health care, allowing corporations to invest those trillions they're sitting on that Republicans pretend aren't being used to expand businesses and hire workers because the confidence fairies and bond vigilantes are scared.

    The greed of the one per cent prevents them from nurturing their own customer base, the middle class, instead of ravaging it for short term profits.

    They would prosper beyond belief in the long term if American workers regained their formerly impressive purchasing power - no, better to squeeze all of the money out of America now and send it overseas tax free and run for President of the 1%.

    "extravagant advantage for the few, ultimately depresses the many." FDR

    by Jim R on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 10:03:18 PM PDT

  •  Romney brags about Bain sweatshop (0+ / 0-)

    Happy Labor Day!

    Mitt Romney "I wish we weren't unionized!"  

    Mitt Romney admits buying Chinese sweatshop while at Bain. 20,000 young girls. 12 girls per room. 120 girls per bathroom. Huge fences with guard towers.

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