|That is because today the National Labor Relations Board announced plans to overhaul rules on union organizing elections by shortening the time it takes between when a majority of workers sign cards indicating their desire to collectively bargain and when the election to do so is actually held.
The new rules would allow workers more rights and information to fight for their rights to organize for a better living:
The NLRB, an independent agency controlled by Democrats, said in a statement that its proposed changes to union organizing-election procedures aim to curb unnecessary litigation, streamline procedures before and after elections, and enable the use of electronic communications, such as requiring employers to give union organizers access to electronic files containing workers' addresses and emails.
Taken together, the NLRB proposals would likely compress the amount of time between a formal call for a vote by workers on whether to join a union, and the election itself. Labor leaders have long complained that dragged out election processes give employers more time to campaign against union representation.
The new rules would also require employers to disclose more information on the "consultants" they hire to intimidate, propogandize and bribe workers during union election fights:
Currently, employers only have to file reports to the Labor Department if the consultants have communicated directly with workers. Under the proposal, employers would have to disclose arrangements with consultants that issue communications on behalf of an employer designed to "directly or indirectly persuade workers concerning their rights to organize or bargain collectively," whether or not consultants contact employees directly.
Predictably, even this small victory for workers was immediately attacked by aplolegists for Corporate America and those who seek to destroy the American middle-class and steal rights from workers all across the country:
"This is another not so cleverly disguised effort to restrict the ability of employers to express their views during an election campaign," said Randy Johnson, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's senior vice president of labor, immigration and employee benefits.
Rep. John Kline (R., Minn.), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, urged the board to "scrap" what he called a "reckless" and "job-destroying" agenda.
"Not only will this misguided proposal to expedite union elections undermine an employer's lawful right to communicate with his or her employees, it will cripple a worker's ability to make an informed decision," he said.
However, this is not an effort to restrict employers from communicating with or expressing their views to their employees. Everyone knows they have plenty of opportunity to do that and do so at every turn. It is simply an attempt to let workers decide on their own with less time for employees to be bribed, intimidated or coerced into voting against their own interests and attempts to curtail the influence of union busting thugs hired from the outside with money that could be used to pay workers.
Having been through two of these fights I can say this. The company is free to use their own time to try and scare workers and do so freely without shame. The workers have to seek the unions out and are not forced to listen to any information from them or attend their meetings. They choose to learn about organizing for a better life on their own while management forces them to sit through hours of propoganda and lies told both by the company and outside influences which care nothing about the workers or their families, only protecting the huge profits from being shared.
And while these changes will help the simple fact of the matter is this is a modest victory and much more still needs to be done to level the playing field for workers against those who would prey on their rights and livelihoods:
"Too many workers have seen their efforts to join together on the job defeated by costly litigation and delaying tactics by their employer," said Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry. "In just the first six months of this year, we have witnessed unprecedented assaults on workers' rights in states across the country," she said, adding that workers would now be able to decide for themselves whether to form a union.
Still, some labor officials indicated that their push for more favorable rules is far from over. Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO labor federation, called the board's step a "modest" one that doesn't address "many of the fundamental problems with our labor laws."
What America really needs is the Employee Free Choice Act which would truly level the playing field for workers against the greediest and least patriotic among us and start to rebuild the American middle-class once more. However, even a modest victory is a victory. We can be sure the NLRB will be under extreme pressure to reverse these rulings so go here and let them know how much working America appreciates even a small victory against those who destroy the American dream for all of us:
Now we must fight even harder. We must use our money and votes to insure that only candidates who support workers over greed will be elected. The War on Working America has been joined long ago and it is damn well time we started fighting back with all we have.
Although these rulings are baby steps at least they are finally steps in the right direction for once.