4:41 PM Eastern – Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Senators Beat Back Attack on Workers’ Rights
BY RICHARD NEGRI
Today the U.S. Senate voted in favor of working people when it smacked down a right wing resolution to block a common sense National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule impacting how workers organize our unions.
The year-long fight for something so simple, so sensible began when the NLRB proposed a rule change that would restore a measure of fairness to the union election process.
But as SEIU President Mary Kay Henry said in a statement, “Relentless attacks on workers have become all too familiar in our politics.”
Until now, anyone who has ever been part of an NLRB union organizing drive will tell you, it is not as easy and swift as most would think. It is an ongoing process of mudslinging and delays played out in legal proceedings. For Bob O’Neill it took eleven years!
O’Neill, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at one of Florida’s largest for-profit nursing homes, was one of the caregivers there who voted to join SEIU 1199 in May 1997, but by exploiting the appeals process, the company was able to delay the election certification for eleven years.
Management harassed Bob and his coworkers by trumping up disciplinary problems, like signing in from break a minute late, or changing their schedules for them to leave early, and then writing them up for either not finishing up their work or for staying late to finish it up.
The right wing politicians have done everything in its power to keep workers like Bill down just a little bit more. Regardless of the fact that in this economy we need to strengthen our workers’ rights, there are many right wing organizations teamed up with puppet politicians they support that they’d do anything and everything to ignore the 99% of us living a check or two from being on the streets.
“We should be working together – unions, government and the private sector – to continue rebuilding our economy and creating good jobs that can support a family, instead of trying to undermine workers’ fundamental right to organize a union if they choose to,” President Henry said.
At the end of the day, instead of creating quality jobs and protecting what we have now, the majority of the Republican Party has spent ridiculous amounts of money and resources to keep a broken and antique section of labor law.