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Labor & Worker Rights Thu Jun 11 2009
My favorite thing about right wing bloggers who are part of the anti-Employee Free Choice Act Talking Point Repetition Brigade is that they don't oppose EFCA for any sound reason--or any reason they could defend past stereotypes of "bullying" by union organizers that hasn't been a thing since On the Waterfront--they oppose it because they've been told that if enacted it will help the Democratic Party as it will "fill union coffers". So they don't oppose it because they're so worried about the working class and the (internationally recognized) human right to organize your workplace. They hate it because they hate the Democratic Party and want to make sure that Democrats won't be able to raise more money from a constituency group. The pretend fear of Italian-Mafia-stereotype organizers "bullying" millions of workers into joining unions (who bullied all those auto and mine workers into those sit down strikes again?) is completely ginned up and, frankly, offensive. Unions don't have the resources or power to "bully" any significant number of individuals into doing anything, much less force a nation of workers to join their unions.
This is not to mention that there is exactly zero evidence of systematic intimidation by union organizers (who tend to be young, post-college idealists and/or former rank-and-file "member organizers"), while there is a resplendent banquet full of meaty, fragrant evidence for initimidation by employers (who hold all the power in the employee-employer relationship).
That's pretty disgusting. And the Chamber of Commerce, which is going to end up spending well over the $100,000,000 they've committed to defeating EFCA, is being looked to by these bloggers, editorialists, and "activists" as their solemn leader in this fight on behalf of statutory non-supervisors in the workplace. Which is unbelievably stupid.
The Chamber of Commerce fights Family and Medical Leave. Fights the minimum wage. Fights OSHA standards that protect coal miners from being maimed and crushed. Argues for gutting the contract rights of guys like Sully the Magical Pilot, who rely on the protections of seniority and employer investment in training to become, you know, good at their jobs.
Do these right wingers actually believe the Chamber of Commerce cares about workers' rights? Maybe. More likely, they are just anti-union in general and are using an affected concern over "workers' rights" to continue the assault on this basic human right (which, if you think about it, is gross). They just wanna hurt the demmy'crats, cuz the demmy'crats are bad.
Personally, I would be all for unions never contributing another penny to national Democrats; but whether or not they do or don't, it doesn't change the fact that the employer-employee relationship is wildly imbalanced, and that American workers do not enjoy a reasonable right to organize their workplace. When Democrats try to defend workers' rights to organize, it's "payback" to their union buddies to "fill their coffers". But when conservatives deregulate every industry, appoint industry officials to oversee the departments that regulate those same industries, create gigantic tax loopholes and massive regressive tax cuts, it's not "payback" or "filling coffers", is it? No, it's celebrating the free market.