Lost amidst the wall-to-wall coverage of Predatorgate last week, yet another bunch of political appointees from the Bush administration quietly destroyed a hard-won right for millions of Americans: the right to unionize. The political implications are greater still.
The AFL-CIO, of course, is planning to fight the ruling. Acuff ticks off the strategies: litigation, negotiating local contracts with specific waivers of the NLRB ruling (including job actions if necessary), and working with Congressional Democratic staff members in the hopes that more Democratic power in Congress could lead to legislation overriding the NLRB ruling. Kentucky River, says Acuff drily, "clarifies what's at stake in the midterms."
Ah, yes. Labor, elections, and the Democrats. For decades, organized labor in the U.S. has relied on the Democratic Party to do its legislative bidding, and the results (as with, say, free trade) have been mixed at best. Amazingly, however, Democrats on Capitol Hill were almost completely MIA in either publicizing the pending ruling, pressuring the NLRB, or reacting last week to the ruling itself.
With these sorts of actions and trends, what is the great hope of Republican strategists in November? (Beyond outright theft, that is.) "Microtargeting." Aptly named, because Republicans are shrinking their pool of potential supporters every day. Let's hope the Democrats can take advantage of it this year, and then have the cajones to dare George Bush to veto a bill overriding the Kentucky River ruling.
Because if they don't, at least one or another dim bulb in the Democratic leadership must realize, Democrats will soon either have to completely reinvent themselves structurally -– something the activist base very much wants anyway –- or face such a structural and financial disadvantage that they won't be very competitive in 2008.
Did the NLRB take such things into account in Kentucky River? This, remember, is the administration that politicizes everything. You decide.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
"Busting the Party--NLRB Kentucky River ruling could cripple Dems in 2008"