Monday, September 7, 2009

Letter: Blue Dogs Should Back Union Bill

By Michael D. Day
union pipe fitter
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

This Labor Day 2009, I can think of nothing better that the U.S. Senate could do for working men and women than to pass the Employee Free Choice Act and put it on the president’s desk. This bill makes it easier to join a union and holds corporations accountable for illegally firing an employee for supporting a union in his or her work place.

According to annual reports from the National Labor Relations Board, the number of employer violations were the following:
2003 — 23,144
2004 — 30,784
2005 — 31,358
2006 — 26,824
In 2007 alone, there were 29,559 instances of illegal firings and other employer discrimination against workers for exercising their federally protected labor law rights.

These so-called “Blue Dog Democrats,” who are riding the fence on this issue thinking that they are helping themselves politically, I think are mistaken.

What good is a blue dog if it growls and barks the same bark as a foaming-at-the-mouth, rabies-infected red dog?

I vote Democrat primarily because of the party’s strong commitment to collective bargaining and other workplace issues.

I can’t understand a good Democrat having a problem supporting a bill such as the Employee Free Choice Act that levels the playing field between employees and corporations and puts the choice of joining or not joining a union in the hands of working men and women.

Americans voted Democrats into a 60-seat, filibuster-proof Senate and an overwhelming majority in the House, and what good are they if they can’t use the power.

I voted for change that I could believe in, not change that I can’t notice.
The Blue Dog Democrats should understand that the Employee Free Choice Act is about jobs, mostly theirs. I would never vote for a Bill Cassidy or, God forbid, a counterfeit David Vitter, but I can go fishing on election day.

These Blue Dog Democrats would do well by heeding the words of President Obama “I don’t see organized labor as part of the problem; to me it’s part of the solution.” and President Eisenhower “Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of their right to join the union of their choice.”

They need to start seeing organized labor as a solution and stop being fools.

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