October 12, 2006


Caption: Seamus McGoogle prepares to break the chains of the working class. In a little while.

Here's a little more information about the recent National Labor Relations Board ruling which was the subject of Tuesday's post.

To recap briefly, the Oakwood Healthcare Inc. ruling would allow employers to classify workers without the power to hire and fire as "supervisors" and thus deprive them of union protection.

According to the Charleston Gazette,

The ruling "has created a new class of workers," says Larry Matheney, secretary treasurer of the West Virginia AFL-CIO. "But they are not supervisors--they are not entitled to the same benefits supervisors traditionally enjoy."

Two dissenting NLRB members agreed, saying that the decision made a new category of workers "who have neither the genuine prerogatives of management, nor the statutory rights of ordinary employees." They also predicted that the number of people in the new pseudo-supervisory category could reach 34 million by 2012--more than 23 percent of the workforce.

In El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia, the ruling could affect 16,339 workers right away, according to the Economic Policy Institute. This includes 6,667 registered and licensed practical nurses, 2,788 secretaries and office clerks, 1,989 cooks and chefs, 1,806 accountants and auditors, 1,044 electricians, 1,040 social workers and 1,006 cashiers.

WV AFL-CIO president Kenny Perdue said the ruling would be challenged in court.


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