He made the trains run on time and controlled the Unions

image - October 23, 2003

Fascism is recognized to have first been officially developed by Benito Mussolini, who came to power in Italy in 1922. To sum up fascism in one word would be to say "anti-liberalism".

...............Socialism and Democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain. It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the "Right," a Fascist century."

Image Source Page: http://marxistleninist.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/glenn-beck-champions-u-s-pro-nazi-text/

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What new Labor laws could mean to employees.

Andy Stern and Anna Burger as seen by Wal-Mart

Anti-Union employers are getting ready.

The headline on a recent Email selling a $300.00, ninety minute presentation by a "labor law" expert.

"Unions Rejoice: What New Post-Election Labor Laws Would Mean for Employers"

You don't have to read between the lines to see that “Unions Rejoice” means anything making a Union happy must feared and avoided.

How do these "advisers" see Unions? They make a rich living teaching “Union Avoidance” and techniques to legally avoid paying for Family Medical Leave, sick time, or workers compensation. How are they using the Democratic landslide to sell their fear of Unions?

To provide balance, I am inserting here a conversation overheard during a George Bush National Labor Relations Board discussion.

"The skies burst into thunder seared with lightning. Down like lashing whips fell a torrent of black rain. And into the heart of the storm, with a cry that pierced all other sounds, tearing the clouds asunder, the Nazgûl came."

"All about the hills the hosts of the SEIU raged. The Corporations of the West are foundering in a gathering purple sea. The sun gleams red under the wings of the Nazgûl the shadows of death fall dark upon the earth."

Two sentences sum up their pitch “Now that the Democrats have won the White House and a large number of seats in the Senate and the House, unions are racing to organize. Employers can expect an onslaught of new pro-labor laws in 2009.

What is in these laws that makes it possible to charge $3.33 a minute, $300.00 for a ninety minute conference call?

There are four major pieces of legislation that have been in the works for quite a while but had no future with Bush in office. Even if the Democrats could have avoided a Republican filibuster all pro-labor legislation faced a certain veto by “that one”.

1) The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – Corporate dislike for the EFCA is founded not on the lie that the EFCA takes away the employees right to a secret ballot, but because it eliminates the employers’ rights to demand secret ballot elections before union certification, elections that could be delayed for years and give employers enough time to intimidate and fire employees that support Unions. The EFCA would also put in place substantial financial penalties for committing unfair labor practices under the National Labor Relations Act and would require employers to maintain neutrality while unions make their cases.

2) The Re-Empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Trades workers Act, or RESPECT Act – The RESPECT act is not so much new law as the removal of the Bush doctrine that allowed almost anyone to be declared a supervisor and thereby be denied both the right to join a Union and the right to overtime. The act redefines "supervisor" under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). A partial quote from the anti-union literature shows why they don’t want this law either “because any employee deemed a supervisor is not covered under the NLRA and is not allowed to join a union.

3) The Working Families Flexibility Act - Would authorize an employee to request their employer to change the terms or conditions of the employee’s employment ( how dare you ask your employer for anything! )if the request relates to: (1) the number of hours the employee is required to work; (2) the times when the employee is required to work; or (3) where the employee is required to work. Employers with 15 or more employees would be covered under the bill.

The right to request, means that in order to find this law a threat or objectionable you must feel that an employee has no right to ask for anything.

4) The Patriot Employers Act – A little history first, under the disguise of foreign aid to developing countries corporations have gotten tax credits for years for every job they have shipped out of the country. It wasn't enough for the Republicans to watch American jobs go abroad, but in they paid their pals for every job an American lost. There was no controls to ensure the exported jobs went to countries with human rights. Only the corporate interests were served. We lost the jobs and we lost the ability to tax much of the income from the out country corpirate proits.

The act would be a start on reversing the jobs lost by issuing a tax credit equal to one percent of taxable income to employers who observe a policy requiring neutrality in union organizing efforts; maintain its headquarters in the United States; pays at least 60 percent of the health care premiums of its employees; maintain or increase the number of its full-time workers in the United States relative to its full-time workers outside of the United States.

The corporate objections can be summed up easily. In the most common right wing threads the problems with these proposed laws are listed.

  • 1: RESPECT Act: Creates divided loyalties among front-line supervisors and their employees, changes the dual functions of the national labor policy, and will likely trigger an explosion of litigation. They don’t want to be sued for illegal actions. They have been spoiled by eight years of having it their own way

  • 2: Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA): Changes union organizing and will almost certainly to increase the frequency of corporate campaigns.

  • 3: Working Families Flexibility Act:
    - Employees get the opportunity to (request) to modify work hours, schedules, or work location.
    - Employees gain a right to a representative of their own choosing at certain meetings. ( I guess they liked being the only witnesses to possible illegal actions)
    - Employers face potential civil fines of up to $5,000 per violation.

  • 4: Patriot Employers Act: How employers could gain a tax break under this proposed legislation.

The speaker's resume is given as a reason why you should buy the 90 minute presentation. One of the high points listed in his accomplishments is that he

“has been responsible for over 60 representation or decertification elections”

I am certain that this would be a “Fair and Balanced” presentation in the proud tradition of Fox News.

If we just laugh or gloat as the new laws are passed we will defeat ourselves. Many employers that have never had Unions have fallen for the lies about Union members and have never been told about the gains partnership with employees can bring. An employee that feels both security and respect from their employer will return that respect with more work of a higher quality than a demoralized employee. We know how much good a Union can do and we will need to let the hundreds of new companies organized over the next few years realize that Union & Management working together will help both sides.

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