>Ever notice when a politician wants to oppose a bill that supports the rights of working men and women, the Pol says something like: “It’s a good idea, but the bill goes too far?” That’s just what NV Congressman Jon Porter (R-NV03) is saying about the Employee Free Choice Act (HR 800). [LVSun] Common sense would dictate that when a person signs the membership form the obvious conclusion is that he or she would like to join the Union; Federal law gives the employers the power to force a vote — and turns a blind eye to firing, harassment, and intimidation in the time between the sign up phase and the vote, which ranges from six weeks to six months. [SDUT] On the related question of whether the election system is fair, labor activists may be out in front of their membership which in one poll (gleefully cited by the right wing Heritage Foundation) shows support for the election system. [ZI] The folks at Heritage take the figures and stretch them to the conclusion that most workers are anti-union; the numbers may be a better indicator of workers’ preference for privacy.
The argument that there is little intimidation because the NLRB hasn’t found any — 92% of the union complaints of employer misconduct in 2005 were dismissed, or withdrawn, [ZI] needs to be analyzed in terms of the composition of the NLRB. Note that the members of the NLRB have been appointed by President George W. Bush, and in addition to their egregious decision in the Kentucky River Cases, have generally shown themselves to be more aligned with the Chamber of Commerce than the AFL-CIO. [NWrld] It’s generally extremely easy to not find things one doesn’t want to see.
Also of note is that the President has more than adequately demonstrated anti-union bias in the last few weeks. The President has threatened to veto the impending Homeland Security Bill because it extends union protection to 45,000 airport workers, [N24] as well as the Employee Free Choice Act. [NS] The extent of the President’s anti-union bias is clearly evidenced by his preference to veto the Homeland Security measure rather than allow 45,000 workers to join unions. That’s 45,000 out of 153,000,000 working Americans [BLS] which gets one a minuscule 2.94e-4 ratio on the plastic calculator in your pocket.
Voting on union representation would not be a bad thing IF: (1) There were clear and clearly enforced penalties for intimidation, harassment, and unlawful firings; (2) The NLRB were a truly non-partisan Board, or had adequate union representation; (3) There were provisions preventing employers from collusion and union-busting activities. [ITT] It might also be a good idea if the hiring of any of the plethora of “union busting” consulting firms were prima facie evidence of intimidation and harassment. [ARW] and [MJ] [TomPaine] [DBacon]
The Yucca Mountain Project “ain’t dead yet.” At least not according to the Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projects and former NV Senator Richard Bryan. Lawsuits, funding shortages, and scientific controversies have all failed to stop the project which Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said would apply for a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by June 2008. [LVRJ]
Nevada Assembly Bill 211 would allow school districts to grant public school choice — but the legislature would have to fund the increased transportation costs. [LVRJ]
Nevada has 358 child care facilities serving about 44,000 children — and ranks 12th in the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agency’s report. One of the items lowering our ranking is the NV ratio of one staff member for each 10 children aged 2 or less; the recommended ratio is 1:6. [LVRJ]
Nevada State/Legislative at Blue Sage Views