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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:19 AM
Original message

Busting the Party
Geov Parrish -

10.10.06 - Lost amidst the wall-to-wall coverage of Predatorgate last week, yet another bunch of political appointees from the Bush administration quietly destroyed a hard-won right for millions of Americans: the right to unionize. The political implications are greater still.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling should have been front-page news for days; it wasn't. Organized labor in the U.S. has become so marginalized, and mainstream media so routinely ignores labor issues, that practically nobody noticed.

The NLRB ruling came as a long-awaited response to a series of cases, which I wrote about in July, collectively known as Kentucky River. In the cases, employers were bidding to break nursing unions by having the nurses reclassified as supervisors, which, under the notoriously anti-union 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, are legally prohibited from unionizing. The attempt came despite the fact that the nurses in question didn't hire, fire, set policy, mete out discipline, or set schedules. The logic was that more senior workers "oversaw" the work of less senior ones and employees with less training, such as nurses' aides.

Such a ruling, it was feared at the time, could be applied widely as precedent to almost any employee who worked with apprentices (i.e., most of the trade unions), less experienced workers, or colleagues with less training in a particular skill. AFL-CIO organizing director Stewart Acuff estimated in July that the worst possible scenario, in which the NLRB would issue the broadest possible ruling, could disenfranchise eight million American workers from the ability to organize. Organized labor in the U.S., decimated by free trade, loss of manufacturing jobs, and decades of membership erosion, these days only has 12 million members. <SNIP>

Acuff has his turf to defend, but weakening labor is as much the means to an end as the end itself. For all its legislative fickleness and reliance on DLC-style corporate cash, unions still contribute a lot of money to local and national races on Democrats' behalf. Even more importantly, they're critical to the Democratic Get Out the Vote effort, providing volunteers and shoe leather to walk precincts, doorbell, and ferry people to polling places. Destroy what's left of organized labor in the U.S., and you also take out a big chunk of the Democrats' electoral infrastructure. <SNIP>

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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 05:03 AM
Response to Original message
1. I saw it and sent it on to my daughter who is a nurse.
She was wondering if that would mean that people in unions would also have to leave. I am sure it will but not very good on this stuff. I have never been in a Union but feel people need these rights and understand what they have done for working people. It is par for what has happen with Bush and Chaney's agenda. The far right has got into all parts of govt. to change the way we live. With Congress and the WH there is no stopping them and the 6 years result will speed up now even more if they take Congress.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 05:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I agree - :-) - and anti-union is anti-Democratic Party n/t
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carzen Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. all hail the corporate god!
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