October 10, 2006
LABOR BOARD ATTACKS WORKERS' RIGHTS--AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Caption: Almost ready...Seamus McGoogle prepares to lead a workers' uprising (as soon as he wakes up).
Last week the National Labor Relations Board, which is dominated by enemies of the labor movement, issued a decision which could rob millions of workers of union protection.
On Oct. 3, the NLRB ruled in the Oakwood Healthcare, Inc. case that employers can reclassify workers as "supervisors," thus denying them the right to belong to unions.
The Economic Policy Institute estimates that around 8 million workers in over 200 occupations could be affected by the ruling.
It's getting to the point where anyone who can say "Pass the salt, please" with a reasonable expectation of getting the salt passed can be classified as a supervisor.
For more on the ruling from the AFLCIO, click here.
As far as El Cabrero can tell, there are three things that can be done to remedy the situation:
*try to bypass the NLRB altogether in organizing drives by persuading or pressuring employers to accept the card check system, in which they would recognize union affiliation if the majority of workers sign a card indicating they want to join. Usually this is done with by agreeing to have a neutral party count and verify the tally.
*vote this November for representatives who support the Employee Free Choice Act, which would simplify organizing and provide stiffer penalties for employers who use intimidation and retaliation to block organizing drives.
*work to elect a candidate in 2008 who will restore balance to the NLRB and reverse the anti-labor policies of the last 5 years.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED
by El Cabrero