The National Labor Relations Board ruled this week that a range of
professionals, estimated at 8 million workers, are now deemed
"supervisors" and thus lose all protections under labor law. What this
means is that an estimated 8 million workers who say a positive thing
about unions can be fired at will by their bosses seeking to eliminate
unions. The AFL-CIO has more here on the legal details.
Published August 28, 2006 in the Great Falls Tribune
by Sen. Steve Doherty (Ret.) and Rep. Dave McAlpin
Beware the traveling salesman peddling political snakeoil. Montana is overrun with such characters these days -- national organizations dumping money in to our state to influence public opinion and advance their hidden agendas.
The most recent and nefarious example in this cycle is the Center for Union Facts, the organization running the vicious ads attacking public employees on our airwaves.
For public employees in four states, this may have been a rough week.
As if balancing typical duties of work and family is not enough, a
front group for anonymous business interests this week began running
ads in Michigan, Montana, Nevada, and Oregonaccusing
public employees of being lazy and overcompensated. The campaign is
connected to the well-orchestrated rightwing attempt to impose
TABOR-style spending limits in numerous states through ballot measures
The AP picked up an important story out of Texas, where it appears that the good ol' boy community thinks that corruption is a fine method of operating.
The story goes like this: Bill Ceverha, a lobbyist, consultant, and member of the board of the Employees Retirement System of Texas, lobbied for an education privatization front group in 2005. One of his big donors was a man by the name of James Leininger. Leininger is also the founder of Kinetic Concepts.
A number of state leaders have been promoting what seems like a free
lunch. Hand over control of government services to private industry and
those companies promise better service at a lower price. Like most
promises of a free lunch, privatization has mostly ended up being a
deceptive boondoggle, a point the non-partisan news sourceStateline.org emphasized this past week:
The reality for working Americans is that wages have been largely stagnant for
over three decades. For many workers -- especially those without a
college degree -- pay has actually gotten worse, meaning that this
generation is the first one in American history which is not doing
signficantly better than the previous one. Part of the reason for
these stagnant wages is that inflation was allowed to erode the federal
minimum wage-- its inflation-adjusted value dropping from $9.12 per hour in 1968 down to just $5.15 per hour in 2005.
In Indiana, critics are condemning
a rushed $1 billion privatization of the states' social services work
-- despite the fact that the companies bidding on the contract have
mismanaged similar contracts in other states and, more tellingly, no
one even bothered to determine whether the companies could do the job
cheaper than current state employees: