A Law That Could Give Labor Some Brawn
If the Democrats take over in Washington, a bill is likely to pass that would allow workers to unionize if a simple majority sign authorization cards
Almost two years ago, Cathy Curran voted to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. A driver for FedEx Home Delivery, Curran says she felt management was ignoring workers' concerns about long shifts and unexplained deductions from paychecks, and she sought to form a union to gain leverage. In October 2006 a majority of workers at her Wilmington (Mass.) terminal voted to join the union. But even though the U.S. National Labor Relations Board certified the election and told FedEx to bargain, Curran is still not a Teamster: FedEx (FDX) won't recognize the union and is appealing the certification in federal court. "FedEx refused to bargain because these workers are contractors, not employees," company spokesman Maury Lane says. "It's not against the law to work for yourself, which is why more than 10 million Americans pursue that work lifestyle every day."
This is the opening salvo of the countercharge in the 30-year-old war on labor in the USA. If the Dems are serious about helping give workers a giant leg up by allowing a simple majority of workers to unionize just by signing authorization cards (BC used to have this till the Libs got in in 2001), this could re-energize the Canadian labor sector as well, since it would be very hard for right-wing governments to protest that the USA's way is the best way when the USA itself has changed direction.
I, for one, am totally rooting for the Dems to keep pushing on bread and butter issues like this, because it really does boil down to how easy it is to put food on the table and a roof over one's head. This always has knock-on effects into other areas of quality of life, and I'll tell you right now, folks, when you get even an extra few grand a year and can go from perpetually being on the ragged edge of having no money to a much more even non-boom-and-bust cycle and have a cushion in your bank account, life gets so much nicer.
Watch the Republicans try to open their big guns on this, only to fizzle when the divorce rate starts dropping because families are making more money. I bet no Repub would ever dare admit that the very policies they push are the kind of policies that corrode away the very "family values" of which they proclaim so loudly.
[ 04 September 2008: Message edited by: DrConway ]