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May 2011, Week 4

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Fri, 27 May 2011 22:13:48 -0400
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1 Judge Voids Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law
2 Re: Harold Meyerson on the NLRA -- Martin Morand
3 Re: Single Payer in Vermont -- Cyril Robinson, Dave Ecklein
4 Re: Bringing Obama Home -- Stuart Lawrence

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11111

Judge Voids Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law

May 26, 2011
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-05-26-wisconsin-unions-collective-bargaining_n.htm

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin's law taking away nearly
all collective bargaining rights from most public
workers was struck down Thursday by a circuit court
judge but the ruling will not be the final say in the
union fight that brought tens of thousands of protesters
to the Capitol earlier this year.

The state Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for June
6 to decide whether it will take the case. Republicans
who control the Legislature also could pass the law a
second time to avoid the open meeting violations that
led to the judge's voiding the law Thursday.

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22222

From: Martin Morand
Re: Harold Meyerson on the NLRA

Harold Meyerson's article highlights significant issues.
He notes "the 1935 National Labor Relations
Act...affords workers no protections at all." Agreed,
but...There is a consensus among too many unionists and
their allies that "until Reagan" or "until Nixon" unions
were successful because of the NLRA. That seductive
notion misled labor to put all its political eggs in the
EFCA basket.

I beg to differ. I started organizing in 1946 as a
"salt" (then called "colonizer") for UE and started 22
years of full time employment by ILGWU in 1948. Both
those early experiences led me to mistrust reliance on
NLRB.

In `46, in Manhattan, UE enlisted a majority and
demanded recognition. The boss demanded "a vote." Our
organizer said, "OK. I'll lead them out and you count
them as they go." We won immediate recognition and soon
had a contract.

In `48 ILGWU "won" a Labor Board election in
Harrisburg, PA, after a seven month campaign - and never
got a contract. The delay had provided the company time
to open a shop in Virginia. We had lost whatever
opportunity and leverage we had. No worker ever got a
contract or a raise through NLRB,

By 1968, as Southeast Region Director of ILGWU, I
prepared Testimony - in conjunction with other
organizing unions such as Textile, Teamsters, IUD - for
the House Labor Committee calling for the abolition of
NLRB as a snare and delusion. That was during "Lyndon
Johnson's presidency" when we "enjoyed" the support of a
"liberal" Congress and a Supreme Court majority.

I opposed EFCA as a waste of political energy. It
relied, as the leverage for winning a contract (the
primary motive for workers to enlist in a union) on a
government appointed arbitrator who could order a
company to sign an agreement. Does anyone imagine such
legislation being upheld by This Supreme Court?

Speaking of the Supremes - let us recall that the whole
CIO was organized before that SC decided (5-4) that the
Wagner Act was Constitutional. If "...the Democrats'
inability to enact EFCA [is] a death sentence for the
American labor movement." it is partly because we long
since stopped being "...a mass organization..."

I do not claim to know what will happen if we " recruit
people to a non-union, essentially non-dues-paying
organization..." I do claim that reliance on the
government to legitimize and empower unions was in fact
a move to allow government to regulate unions, to foster
majoritarian (i.e. winner take all) unionism and
"exclusivity", which results in the recognized union
being a one party state which precludes Any meaningful
internal democracy - a precondition to a militant mass
organization.

===

From: Cyril Robinson
Re: Single Payer in Vermont - First State to Offer Single Payer

They must all be communists but healthy communists. 

---

From: David Ecklein
Re: Single Payer in Vermont - First State to Offer Single Payer

The VT situation is murkier than painted here; private
insurance interests have managed to water it down
considerably already.

See http://www.pnhp.org/news/2011/april/vermont-health-bill-mislabeled-single-payer-doctors-group

We will get single payer eventually, probably on a
state-by-state basis like this, but I caution against
premature enthusiasm. That got us the disaster of PPACA,
remember?

It is important to describe developments exactly as they
are, rather than as we wish them to be.

=====
44444

From: Stuart Lawrence
Re: Bringing Obama Home - His Home is Not My Home

Carl Bloice writes, "He said he would end the foreign
wars and we pulled the lever by his name."

This is simply not true. Candidate Obama promised to
escalate the war in Afghanistan and made it clear that
Pakistan was part of the US theater of war. If you
pulled the lever for Obama you voted for a candidate who
promised to make the Afghanistan war the longest in US
history.

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