Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. KY) and his sidekick Senator Rand Paul (R. KY) may have failed to kill the Employment Non-Discrimination Act but they are trying to make it less worker friendly:
But if I were McConnell and Paul, I wouldn't hold my breath on seeing their amendment seeing the light of day:Kentucky’s Republican U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul will attempt to attach a national anti-union “right to work” law to the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) — the federal law designed to provide workplace protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. According to WGDB’s Roll Call, the Senate is expected to begin debate on ENDA this week.
Right to work laws are laws that prohibit employers and workers from entering into contracts mandating union membership for any profession, from nurses to police officers to auto workers. States with right to work laws generally feature fewer protections for workers. The laws typically weaken workers’ position to bargain with employers by reducing union membership and stripping away the power of collective bargaining.
A national right to work law could potentially undermine unions of all kinds nationwide and could make all states as economically depressed as Oklahoma and the southern states that feature right to work laws.
Graham submitted the amendment to the ENDA bill, the first amendment filed. Paul co-signed. While being the first filed amendment is no guarantee that the provision will be debated, the fact that it was filed by the Senate Minority Leader tends to bode in its favor. - Raw Story, 11/5/13
Speaking of worker, Alison Lundergan Grimes (D. KY) scored a big endorsement today:The Senate cleared a major legislative hurdle Monday night by voting to move forward with debate on ENDA, which would bar discrimination in the workplace for large businesses on the basis of sexual orientation or identity. The measure introduced by McConnell and Paul will now become part of that discussion.
It's highly unlikely, however, that the Democratic-controlled chamber would ever send right-to-work legislation to the president's desk. Unions remain a strong base of the Democratic Party, and right-to-work has proven deeply divisive in states like Michigan.
Speaking after McConnell on Tuesday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), said a national right-to-work law would lead to more inequality in the U.S. economy.
"If you look at the state of unionism today, I think the facts speak for themselves," said Durbin, referencing the country's falling union density. "Those who want to eliminate the opportunity for collective bargaining and make it more difficult for workers to stand up and speak for themselves in the workplace, I think frankly are going to condemn us to a much slower-growing economy and much more injustice when it comes to compensation." - Huffington Post, 11/5/13
Grimes had this to say about "right-to-work" and ENDA:The AFL-CIO of Kentucky announced before a packed house of union members in Louisville that it is formally backing Grimes in the 2014 race, citing her commitment to workers and their families.
"Labor has literally lifted millions out of poverty and it is labor that is the way we're going to continue to grow the middle-class of this state," says Grimes.
The endorsement comes shortly after Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell joined fellow Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul to introduce a so-called "right to work" bill.
That proposal would prohibit labor contracts from requiring employees to join unions.
This issue marks a key philosophical difference between the Grimes and McConnell, and one that both campaigns are hoping to capitalize on. - WFPL News 89.3 FM, 11/5/13
If you would like to donate or get involved with Grimes' campaign, you can do so here:Grimes, Kentucky’s secretary of state, said the right-to-work measure was wrong for Kentucky and would threaten gains made by workers over decades.
“It’s about recognizing and knowing that labor has literally lifted millions out of poverty, and that it is labor that is the way we’re going to continue to grow the middle class … and make sure that everyone has an equal voice, especially at the bargaining table,” she said.
McConnell and Paul want to attach the right-to-work proposal to legislation that would bar workplace discrimination against gays.
That strategy drew a sharp rebuke from Grimes, who called it “further proof that neither believes in the Golden Rule.”
Grimes supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
“No Kentuckian deserves to be discriminated against in the workplace,” she said. “My grandmothers always taught me to follow the Golden Rule and treat others as I would like to be treated.” - Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/5/13