Thursday, December 30, 2010

The looming threat: It-bites-to-work-for-less laws

It's payback time. Politicians who won elections thanks to massive, secret funding by corporate billionaires (including foreigners) are now repaying the favor. All over the country they're proposing new laws to strengthen employers against their workers.

There's talk of "it bites to work for less" laws in Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana, New Hampshire and Maine, to name a few. You may know these laws as "right to work," but that's a clever misnomer that TeamsterNation tries to avoid. Just yesterday earlier this week the Teamsters own Jim Kabell told the Springfield News-Leader that "right to work" is misleading.
'Right-to-work' is such a phony name. It's a horrible provision. It should never see the light of day in our state.

Kabell, who is president of the Missouri-Kansas-Nebraska Conference of Teamsters, pointed out that 90 percent of dues go to the contract negotiations. That means lawyers (who, by the way, enjoy protections that keep their wages high).

For those of you unfamiliar with it-bites-to-work-for-less, it's an anti-union tactic that forces unions to pay the cost of representing employees who refuse to pay dues. Some 22 states -- the ones that rank last in all quality-of-life measures -- have it-bites-to-work-for-less laws.

Now Wisconsin lawmakers are trying to pass it-bites-to-work-for-less laws.  A former Coloradan wrote this great letter to the editor of the Wisconsin State Journal about what it's like to live in a bites-to-work-for-less state.  Dennis Murphy wrote that living in Colorado Springs meant,
...low salaries for employees, both public and private, plus the lack of city and state services. For example, Colorado Springs had no city recycling or trash pick-up. You had to contract privately to have your garbage removed. Teachers, police officers, firefighters and city employees had salaries a lot lower than in Wisconsin. Cities received little shared state revenue. If your city was poorer, too bad.
We have a real fight on our hand, brothers and sisters.