Archive for right to work

VIDEO: A genius made this video, a British guy who calls himself a "Labor geek"

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labor day tweet Jeff Tiedrich

Link to tweet; link to Labor Day Wiki.

And please read my post "What a difference a union can make!"

In today's Los Angeles Times, there is an op-ed by Harold Meyerson (editor at large of the American Prospect and an op-ed columnist for the Washington Post), "A Labor Day proposal for labor: Extend the Civil Rights Act's Title VII protections to workers seeking to unionize." It ends with this:

By making union organizing a civil right, the California Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown could begin to end this public-policy paralysis. In a state where millions work for low wages, California's leaders could help revive collective bargaining in a nation from which it's almost disappeared, and begin rebuilding the kind of vibrant economy that was once America's and California's calling card to the world.

Then I ran across this video, which is brilliant. No kidding:

Jul 3, 2009

A union can make a big difference to people's perceptions of a job. For UK staff you can find out which unions may be relevant to your job at www.worksmart.org.uk/unionfinder

Via The Progressive Change Campaign Committee team:

It can be depressing to see workers under attack -- by Republican governors, by corporations, by opponents of Social Security...

This was made by John Wood, a British guy who calls himself a "Labor geek," and it's gone viral on YouTube.

happy labor day

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VIDEO: "Post-Citizens United, conservatives look at [union decline] & smell blood." Unions support Dems. 'Nuff said.

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chart maddow unions v corps campaign spending smaller

I recently posted about WI Gov. Scott Walker suggesting stripping police and firefighter union rights. Without unions, workers suffer. (We all suffer.) They suffer because they have no rights to speak of, they can't fight for what should be their rights effectively, and their employers have no problem stomping all over them. That was made clear here: “Dignity… That was the message of the signs [the restaurant workers] carried: I am a man, I am a woman.”

Please take a look at why even conservatives should appreciate what unions do, and have done, for this country: What a difference a union can make! And that appreciation should extend to the U.S. Postal Service: “It’s called the U.S. Postal Service because it is a service, not a corporation.”

With that in mind, this clip is a must-watch. The entire segment is below:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Melissa Harris-Perry:

All right. You got it? Unions not only gave us the weekends and health insurance.

Unions not only gave us the middle class.

Unions then gave that middle class a way to take part in the political process. In the significant part of the process that involves putting money into political campaigns.

And when union members get involved in campaigns, they tend to throw their considerable support behind Democrats. Not Republicans.

In other words, Republicans are trying to asphyxiate the Democratic party.

Here is the whole thing:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Sen. Rand Paul submits national "right to work" (for less) bill

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unions gave us

Via Paul's web site, this lovely press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul this week introduced the National Right to Work Act, S. 204, which seeks to preserve and protect the free choice of individual employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities.

"Every American worker deserves the right to freedom of association - and I am concerned that the 26 states that allow forced union membership and dues infringes on these workers' rights," Sen. Paul said. "Right to work laws ensure that all Americans are given the choice to refrain from joining or paying dues to a union as a condition for employment. Nearly 80 percent of all Americans support the principles and so I have introduced a national Right to Work Act that will require all states to give their workers the freedom to choose."

Sen. Paul's Right to Work Act does not add a single word to existing federal law, it simply deletes forced unionism provisions in federal law.

Due to six infringing and freedom-crushing provisions in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Railway Labor Act (RLA), there are currently 8 million working Americans who are required by law to pay union dues. These workers are not required to join a workers union but they are required to pay the dues; and if workers refuse to pay these union fees, they risk losing their jobs to Big Labor.

As you can see, Rand Paul is all about FREEDOM! What happened to being all about jobs? And fairness? And equality? And freedom to, you know, bargain? And having decent working conditions? And pay?

But see, as he introduces the idea of a new national "right to work" (right to work for less) bill, his emphasis is on FREEDOM! Did I mention FREEDOM?

freedom my ass

And don't get me started on "choice."

As NH Labor News reminds us:

They already have the freedom to pay the representation fee instead of joining.

This is exactly the opposite to everything we are taught to believe in the democratic process.  We can have all the debate we want but in the end, the majority rules.  Now they are taking the minority and placing them ahead of the majority.

This is an ideological and blatantly  anti-union piece of legislation.

It's worth repeating that it is already illegal to force someone to join a union.

But if FREEDOM of choice is so important to Rand Paul, why isn't he a proponent of women's reproductive rights?

rand paul on abortion

The text of the legislation is at Paul's site.

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After "Right to Work", Michigan Snyder's Popularity Plummets

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haha

And he's trailling badly behind ever possible future Democratic opponent.

Just last month when we took a first look at the 2014 landscape we talked about how much Rick Snyder had improved his popularity during his second year in office and how he led a generic Democrat for reelection by 6 points, even as Barack Obama won the state comfortably.

Last week he threw all that out the window.

We now find Snyder as one of the most unpopular Governors in the country. Only 38% of voters approve of him to 56% who disapprove. There are only 2 other sitting Governors we've polled on who have a worse net approval rating than Snyder's -18. He's dropped a net 28 points from our last poll on him, the weekend before the election, when he was at a +10 spread (47/37).

There's not much doubt that it's the right to work law and his embrace of other actions by the Republican legislature that are driving this precipitous drop in Snyder's popularity. Only 41% of voters in the state support the right to work legislation, while 51% are opposed to it. If voters got to decide the issue directly only 40% of them say they would vote to keep the law enacted, while 49% would vote to overturn it. This comes on the heels of voters overturning Snyder's signature emergency managers law last month. The simple reality is that Michigan voters like unions- 52% have a favorable opinion of them to only 33% with a negative one.

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Oops! "Right to work" for less law shows Gov. Snyder, GOP legislators never read language, may not be able to implement

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Stop me if you've heard this one before, it's a real knee-slapper. Okay, so you know how Michigan’s “Right to Work” law contains verbatim language from ALEC model bill? ALEC had to be so stoked!

But oops! Their new rushed-through, jammed-in, union-busting law may violate the state constitution, so it may not be able to be implemented.

KITH Spit<br /><br /><br />
 take

Oh noes! 

Via Senatedems.com:

 Reports today show that HB 4003, which the Governor said would provide “Right to Work” type policies for public employees in Michigan, could not be implemented as intended as the Michigan Constitution gives clear authority to the Civil Service Commission over conditions of employment for the state's workforce. Experts have suggested today only a vote of the Civil Service Commission could enact Right to Work policies for state workers. [...]

“The public was not given an opportunity to read these bills, legislators were not given an opportunity to read these bills, and we now know that the Governor himself either didn't read or didn't understand these bills himself,” said Senator Bert Johnson (D – Detroit). “This process has been a complete affront to Democracy from the start and was nothing more than a political gift to the Koch Brothers and ALEC who bought and paid for this legislation.”

Maybe they should have moved a little more slowly and deliberately. And intelligently. And read it. And debated it. And stuff.

Those whacky Republicans and their antics, who knew they could be so amusing? Then again, we've been aware for some time that they serve the people well... as very effective punch lines.

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WTF is the matter with Michigan? Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said that union busting is “pro-workers! It’s a good thing! This is a positive thing for unions!” Then the union busting “Right-to-work for work for less” measure was signed it into law. It's important to remember that Michigan’s “Right to Work” law contains verbatim language from ALEC model bill.

Speaking of remembering, remember King Ricky's appalling financial martial law? That was the legislation that allowed one person to dictate all kinds of things without any input from voters. For example:

He could do away with unions, with police officers, mayorships, you name it. You voted for someone and they won? Pfft, fuggetaboutit. OUT.

You like that school your kid goes to? Nevermind. GONE.

You cherish democracy and thought it would always be The American way? TOO BAD.

Remember all my rants about the GOP’s goal of crushing unions as a way of denying Democrats their political funding which would lead to eventual single party rule? Me too.

And now Michigan's House has passed new version and sent it to the Senate all nice and repackaged under a different name, and they're pushing it right on through as they are wont to do:

The state House passed late Wednesday what the Snyder administration says is a new and improved emergency manager law, but opponents say is a warmed-over version of what voters rejected Nov. 6.

Michigan gun owners with extra training could carry concealed weapons in schools under a bill OK'd by a House panel Yes, guns in schools are A-OK with Michigan's "pro-life" Republicans:

Gun owners with concealed weapon permits could get additional training that would allow them to carry their concealed firearms in schools and at sporting events on school property under legislation approved Wednesday by a Michigan House committee.

The bill, OK'd 7-2 by majority Republicans along party lines, is awaiting potential final votes before lawmakers conclude their lame-duck session. [...]

Public schools - currently gun-free unless someone openly carries a weapon - would have to allow concealed weapons under the bill... [U]nintended consequences - more potential for altercations at football games or students finding teachers' guns in locked places.

Is it the right time to discuss responsible gun regulation yet?

Because Republican just can't seem to learn any lessons from the November elections, they decided to pass a bill attacking LGBTs and women. And to make double super sure that their so-called "small government" keeps their big paws off the rights of individuals, they included a "conscience objection" for health care providers who don't want to give that care when they feel it conflicts with their religious beliefs. Never mind anyone else's beliefs... or non-beliefs.

In other words, they get to discriminate against gay people and female people, even when it means that their well-being is at stake:

The Republicans in the Michigan legislature have passed a bill today that would allow hospitals, nursing homes or any other health care center to deny services that run contrary to the religious teachings or conscious of its leaders. This so-called conscience objection bill would open the doors for healthcare providers, insurance companies and employers to disallow healthcare services to anyone they find objectionable, such as LGBT people and women seeking family planning services including birth control and abortions.

There you have it, Michigan in a very ugly nutshell.

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Asphyxiating the Democratic party

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Via Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Unbelievably, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder had the unmitigated gall to say that union busting is “pro-workers! It’s a good thing! This is a positive thing for unions!”

Welcome back to GOP Opposite World.

The “Right-to-work for work for less" measure passed in the Michigan Legislature and Snyder signed it into law. So like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, he has intentionally pissed off organized labor and us "little people" who care about getting a fair shake.

Now unions cannot require members to pay dues as a condition of employment, more massive protests and rallies are expected in the months to come, and possible legal remedies and initiatives will be pursued. Big time. As we speak, there are plans underway for a large-scale counteroffensive against the conservative state leaders who have slashed away at union power since the 2010 midterm elections.

Speaking of rallies, tea party activists, or more precisely members of the Koch-funded American for Prosperity, staged some fake union "thuggery" where they actually knocked down their own tent and video recorded their little antics for their BFF at Fox News.

By the way, Michigan’s “Right to Work” law contains verbatim language from ALEC model bill.

Barry Goldman, an arbitrator and mediator and the author of "The Science of Settlement: Ideas for Negotiators," wrote an op-ed for the L.A. Times about King Ricky Snyder's labor hit. Please read the whole thing, but here are a few excerpts:

I've spent the last 20 years sitting as a neutral third party in disputes between employers and unions. ... [T]he system works because the parties meet as equals. It wouldn't work if either party were able to dominate. [...]

There is no justification for these bills except that they are an effort by the Republican-controlled Legislature to weaken the labor movement and cut off oxygen to the Democratic Party. [...]

If freedom of association is the principle driving this effort, why are police and fire unions exempt? Wouldn't they too benefit from "workplace fairness and equity?" [...]

Police and fire unions are exempt because they are politically conservative. They don't need "fairness and equity" because they support the GOP. [...]

If Michigan can remain competitive with Indiana by becoming a right-to-work state, maybe we could out-compete Indiana by eliminating worker safety laws. [...]

This was a sneaky, cynical, backdoor, lame-duck gimmick. If these bills are enacted, the labor movement in Michigan will be radically weakened, and capital will be able to further dominate the system.

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