Workers’ rights: Who needs ‘em?

Published on Wednesday, September 05, 2012

GOP platform a gangplank for workers

If a political party’s platform is a window into its soul, then when it comes to labor and workers' rights the one approved last week in Tampa at the GOP convention should tell union members all they need to know about the folks hoping to take over the White House.

It calls for a nationwide “Right to Work” law. Or, as it would be called if legislation had to be named more honestly, the “Right to Work for Minimum Wage (until we eliminate minimum wage too)” law.  Calling that attack on workers “Right to work” deserves some sort of George Orwell award.  (If that award doesn’t already exist, someone should create it.)

The same platform would limit union members’ political power by muting our voice at exactly the same time that corporations are being given unlimited ability to spend shareholders’ money with little or no transparency.  It makes perfect sense for a party that believes “corporations are people, my friend” but casts unions as the enemy

And while they’re at it, they call for repealing the 81-year-old Davis-Bacon Act that requires the federal government to pay a prevailing wage on its construction projects.  Why?  Because somehow the GOP believes the government is wasting billions of taxpayer dollars by paying decent wages to American taxpayers.  Looks like there may be some competition for this year’s Orwell Award.

And for good measure, the platform calls for an end to teacher tenure, so that schools “can attract fresh talent and dedication in the classroom.”   But we can always hope… maybe their merit pay schemes will lead to $1 million teacher salaries, so we can all get a nice tax break out of the deal. 

Hey, it’s no crazier than what’s actually in the platform.


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