Caption: See second item.
The theme this week at Goat Rope is about the future of the labor movement--and of the middle class. The two are pretty intertwined and one rises or falls with the other.
If this is your first visit, please click on earlier posts.
Yesterday's post was about the background on the Employee Free Choice Act. Today's is about its prospects.
The bill passed the House of Representatives earlier this year with bipartisan support (not counting WV 2's Shelley Moore Capito). It enjoys a bare majority of support in the Senate, although not enough to overcome a filibuster. President Bush has indicated--no shock--that he would veto the measure if it came to his desk.
That means the next serious chance to pass it will be after the 2008 elections, assuming a change in the composition of the Senate. In the meantime, supporters need to keep on making noise in favor of this measure and build a stronger base in public opinion in favor of its passage.
This could be the most significant social legislation in decades. If the right to organize was truly restored, a lot of other problems would take care of themselves.
At the state (WV) level, HB 2346, popularly known as the Worker Freedom Bill, was introduced but not passed last time around. This bill would prohibit employers (with appropriate exemptions) from requiring workers to attend meetings in which their views on politics, religion, and labor organizing are discussed. Here's the text. Efforts in support of that measure will continue.
MORAY EEL UPDATE. Please allow El Cabrero to apologize for neglecting this vital subject. By way of amends, it pleases me to share the following information:
Moray eels, those snake-like predators that lurk in coral reefs, use a second set of jaws to pull prey back into their throats with deadly efficiency, researchers said on Wednesday.
From what I can surmise (from a distance), these buggers have an extra jaw that is usually behind the skull when not in use. When needed, the extra jaws shoot up into the mouth and pull the prey back down the throat. Scientists were reportedly amazed to discover how it worked. It sounds to me like the monster in the Alien movies...
IT'S ABOUT TIME. According to this item from The Nation, some folks are getting serious about doing something about poverty.
MORE ON MINE SAFETY. Here's the latest about mine safety hearings in Congress (fireworks included).
MORE ON COAL. This op-ed by Jeff Goodell, author of Big Coal, came out in late August, but I just found it.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED