Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Friday, March 02, 2007

NRSC Predictably Misleads on Labor Bill

  • What is HR 800, the Employee Free Choice Act? So reports the Associated Press:

    The current system is broken because employers can coerce and intimidate workers into rejecting unionization, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said in a phone interview this week. The House bill, he said, is "the most important improvement in labor law in many decades." ...

    Rep. George Miller, D-Cal., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, urged the president to reconsider the threatened veto. "The administration's statement ignores the fact that it is employers, not unions, who routinely harass, intimidate, fire and reassign workers who try to form a union," he said.
    Is that so, Rep. Miller? Actually, yeah, it is. The article notes [Emphasis added by me]:

    Unions and their Democratic allies say employers use the time before elections to pressure workers. The labor rights group American Rights at Work said 80 percent of employers hire union-busting consultants and 90 percent force employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with their supervisors.

    John Schmitt, senior economist for the Center for Economic and Policy Research, says that about one out of five union activists can expect to be fired as part of organizing activities.
    The bill is establishes even more worker protections, the AP story mentions:

    The legislation also imposes tougher penalties on companies that violate the rights of workers trying to organize and sets up a binding arbitration process to prevent companies from thwarting a new union by bargaining in bad faith on an initial contract.
    Nevertheless, the NRSC's predictably lame hit piece on the bill suggests that it will "take away employer rights" and "allow intimidation of employees" when, in fact, it is the company heads, not the union heads, doing the intimidating!

    Since we know that Republican leadership and many Republican Senators will do anything to prevent unionizing, including sacrificing national security, they have zero credibility on this issue. MissLaura at Daily Kos has a breakdown of the House vote on the bill, including the support of over a dozen House Republicans.


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