Friday, September 16, 2011

Boeing, boeing.....

Yesterday,the Republican-dominated US House of Representatives passed, on party lines, a bill to castrate the National Labor Relations Board and preclude them from even considering a pending case arising out of Boeing's "punishing" their union-labor-Seattle-workforce for having the gall to go on strike!! Management representatives openly stated the reason for Boeing to move to South Carolina was to get even with their workforce for striking!
Visual Effects Artists know exactly what this fight is about.
Several months ago, at the beginning of our organizing drive, I received a phonecall from a facility-owner. He matter-of-factly informed me that if we were successful in unionizing his facility, he would leave the country. Historically, such threats were a slam-dunk unfair labor practice and the Labor Board would prohibit the threat. Preventing the move has proved much more difficult. Frankly, this company is pretty well anchored to the type of work that can only be done locally, so I thought the threat to be an empty one. Someday, his employees will vote (overwhelmingly) for union representation, and he'll get his comeuppance.
But, we'll need a free and independent NLRB to ensure that worker rights are protected. The tea party and right-wing Republican establishment, while claiming they are "merely" seeking to reduce government spending and "intrusion", have a far more sinister agenda. Climate change? Gay marriage? Dream Act protections for children of illegal immigrants? Choice?
Union protection? All will be eradicated under the guise of "limited government". I guess the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, the Gulf of Mexico oil-well disaster, insider trading will continue to flourish under the Republican administration, if they have their way.
It's a tough time to join a labor union. On the other hand, maybe it's the only way we can stand up for the rights of workers to be fairly treated.

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