Sunday, March 8, 2015

Republican Ambush on Worker's Basic Rights

Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Timothy D. Easley/AP)
Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Timothy D. Easley/AP)

By Elizabeth Warren, Reader Supported News

t every turn, organized labor has been there, fighting on behalf of the American people.

But today, instead of implementing policies that strengthen the middle class, Republicans in Congress are pushing a bill to stop the National Labor Relations Board from modernizing its procedures because it just might help – yes, I said help – America’s workers. 

The only way we’ll stop this from happening is by raising our voices as loudly as possible. Join me right now to tell Congress to let the NLRB do its job. 

Coming out of the Great Depression, America’s labor unions helped build America’s strong middle class. For half a century, as America’s union membership went up, America’s median family income went up, and that was true for families whether they were part of a union or not.

Since 1935, Congress has required the National Labor Relations Board to oversee the workplace elections in which workers decide whether to be represented by a union. More than 90 percent of the time when there’s an election, it all goes smoothly.

Employees and employers agree about the process, and an election is held without dispute. Done.

But, in the remaining cases, the rules on how to resolve these concerns have turned into a mess. Over time, a hodgepodge of different rules for resolving these disputes emerged in each of the country’s 26 NLRB regions.

To fix this, the NLRB recently finalized national rules that set out the procedures for resolving pre-election issues and conducting elections. In other words, the NLRB is trying to make dispute resolution clearer, more efficient and more consistent from region to region. This is good for workers.

Trying to make government work better shouldn’t be controversial. But it is controversial. Why? Because some employers like the broken tangled rules. They have learned that they can game the system and oppose union votes all together. They don’t want the NLRB to work, so they are lobbying against these new rules.

And Congressional Republicans are standing up for them, advancing a proposal to stop the NLRB from implementing its final rules. 

We can’t let Congress promote an inefficient system that gives employers room to manipulate the process and block workers from organizing. Join me right now to tell Congress: Let the NLRB do its job. 

Republicans claim they’re concerned about workers being able to “ambush” their employers with workplace elections. That’s just plain nonsense.

Let’s be honest – the only ambush here is the Republican ambush on worker’s basic rights.

According to a 2011 study from the Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, long election delays correspond with higher rates of labor law violations. A delay gives anti-union employers more time to retaliate against union organizers and to intimidate workers.

So it comes down the question I’ve asked before: who does this Congress work for?

Republicans say government should keep on working for employers who don’t like unions and who have figured out how to exploit a tangled system. They complain about government inefficiencies, but then they introduce a bill that is specifically designed so that a broken, inefficient system will stay broken and inefficient – even when we know how to fix it.

But we weren’t sent here just to represent employers who don’t like unions. We’re here to support working people who just want a fighting chance to level the playing field. 

Join me right now to tell Congress to let the NLRB do its job.

+1 # REDPILLED 2015-03-08 09:39
All true about the Rethuglicans, especially since Reagan crushed the Air Traffic Controllers Union.

But what have the Dems done since Reagan, except get on the Corporate/Wall Street anti-union payroll?

Now, If Warren & Sanders and Sherrod Brown and Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney and the Progressive Caucus and the Black Caucus and the Hispanic Caucus left the Dems and formed a People's Party, that could make a real difference.
+4 # Barbara K 2015-03-08 10:15
Go get them, Senator Warren! The Rs are out to make us even poorer by taking away our worker's rights. We need the Dems more than ever to stop the garbage the Tbagger/Rs are throwing at us. Block and filibuster everything that is not in OUR best interest. The Rs/TPs are already wealthy enough off our backs, it is our turn now. We need to be able to feed and provide for our families. We are counting on you and the other Dems in congress to help us. Don't let them make you back down on anything.
+4 # turnoutthelights 2015-03-08 10:20
Senator Warren, my senator, is of course right again. I recommend Heather Cox Richardson's book "To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party" for historical perspective on labor and many other issues
0 # Peace Anonymous 2015-03-08 10:49
We live in a democracy and have the right to have our voices heard. As a result many professions have formed associations which promote their respective industries at a variety of different levels.

Unions have historically provided a voice which has enabled the working people in our world to have their voices heard. Unions are not perfect. But regardless of your personal opinion isn't denying workers their rights denying democracy to the people who pay their taxes?

The voices of workers must be heard. If you are sitting back and hoping Elizabeth Warren and a few like her create the world you want I think you're missing the point! I think you better get involved.

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