Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Fair Labor Standards Act

Here's the Coyote Blog on the upcoming "Fair Labor Standards Act", one of the best Orwellian Newspeak names to adorn any legislation since the "Employee Free Choice Act.

"She (Ann Althouse) goes on to describe her voyage of discovery as to why so irrational-sounding a policy might exist, but I alredy knew. To furlough exempt (meaning exempt from hourly bookkeeping) workers, they must become non-exempt. And non-exempt workers have to be paid for time worked, even if the time worked was not ordered by the employer and even if the time worked was against the wishes of the employer.

Hit both links to read the complete posts. Fellow lovers of economic rationalism, please bookmark both sites to read daily.

Here's a little ad that the goombahs are trying to keep off the air. Enjoy.

Here's something I found via Facebook, just a few minutes after posting this. It's an interactive game.
My favorite line, which I've heard uttered by at least two YRC Worldwide drivers when describing sign-up tactics: "That's a really nice car you've got in the parking lot. I'd hate to see anything happen to it."


Dr Ralph said...

Don't forget, those thugs that reinforce every stereotype management trots out *are* actors.

The "Employee Freedom Action Committee" which paid for this cynical bit of trash is another front group from our old friend lobbyist Rick Berman. He'll create an astro-turf committee at the drop of a check. I've already written about him last time you posted this crapola.

When in doubt, follow the money.

Mr. Berman's on the payroll of the cigarette, booze and junk food peddlars, as well as various anti-union interests. He's shown there is no industry position so sleazy and cynical he won't take it. His modus operandi is to create these bullshit fronts to mud wrestle with industry critics so the bankrollers can keep their hands clean and their names out of the news.

Here's a clip of him on Colbert a couple of years ago. Does the man have a reflection when he passes a mirror?

Regardless of pros and cons of this particular piece of legislation, showing this smirking thug's work makes you look like a shill.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I agree, they are actors. However, the people who have politely and unashamedly explained to me how Card Check will work are not actors.
My enemy's enemy is my friend.

Dr Ralph said...

There's no difference in my mind between "That's a really nice car you've got in the parking lot. I'd hate to see anything happen to it." and "If we are forced to let the unions in it could cost workers their jobs." Both are barely disguised threats.

Don't fool yourself -- Rick Berman and his ilk have no friends or enemies, just clients and targets. You may be one this week and the other next week. It's one of the reasons I got out of advertising.

If someone's explained to you why the Card Check is a bad thing, fine: just tell us.

Posting Rick Berman's cynical and heavy-handed bullshit is just advertising his under-handed services. If you sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Card check is a bad thing because it eliminates the secret ballot.

It really is that simple.

Dr Ralph said...

If it's that simple Rick Berman's bullshit video shouldn't be necessary.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I respectfully disagree, Herr Doktorr....

We are plagued by con artists in this, the 233rd year of our republic.
I'm not arguing against the marketing campaigns that surround the anti secret ballot act or the unauthorized overtime generation act.
I'm against the legislation itself. The faction of the Republicrats that now finds itself in power is really really really good at surrounding its political patronage with hope and kittens and change and puppies.
The Employee Free Choice Act replaces the secret ballot with fear and intimidation. Does fear and intimidation work both ways? Yep.
Has the solution to this, for centuries, been the secret ballot?
Why would anyone on the up-and-up want to get rid of secret ballot elections?

Dr Ralph said...

Apologies in advance for massive cut and paste from Wikipedia.

To quote Representative George Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor: "...Many employers resort to spying, threats, intimidation, harassment and other illegal activity in their campaigns to oppose unions. The penalty for illegal activity, including firing workers for engaging in protected activity, is so weak that it does little to deter law breakers...The employer has all the power; they control the information workers can receive, can force workers to attend anti-union meetings during work hours, can force workers to meet with supervisors who deliver anti-union messages, and can even imply that the business will close if the union wins. Union supporters' access to employees, on the other hand, is heavily restricted."

Gordon Lafer, testified, "In the NLRB, while the vote does take place in a booth where nobody sees what you're doing, management is allowed to engage in a series of behaviors in the lead up to the vote that force the vast majority of workers to reveal how they're going to vote long before they ever step into the booth."

Saying this is just about "secret ballots" obscures the complexity of the situation. If just the Republicans had been allowed to run TV commercials in the last election, would that have been fair? How does one campaign *for* the union without losing one's job?

You know, we could have saved a lot of time if we'd just copied verbatim the exchange from last time you went off on this topic.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

It would be a tragic mistake for anyone to EVER imply that a business will go under if the union wins.
(Stay tuned for continuing updates on the situation at YRC Worldwide.)

Employers, IMHO, have the right to pay employees to sit through anything that ain't illegal, immoral or fattening. Employees have the right to sit through anything they want to sit through, as long as its not on the company nickel. That goes for union recruiting drives, United Way fundraisers, and Amyway presentations.

Anyway, I know we sometimes take on the motions of a Japanese Tea Ceremony, but one clear fact remains....

Once a person goes into that voting booth he or she can mark the ballot whichever way he or she chooses. Why do you think the unions want to take that away?

Dr Ralph said...

So you're claiming it's the union's fault YRC is run by a bunch of nitwits who can't pay their bills?

In reading every source I could on YRC, it sounds like the unions (which have been there for some time and by now would be a known factor) are the ones making the concessions to a company teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. "Tough market conditions" (and not the union) is what the experts say is the cause.

As you well know, it's just as likely they'd be in the same precarious position without the teamsters. Especially in this economy.

If it were as simple as someone standing up and saying, "Let's take a vote," I'd say the secret ballot might be adequate. But since the employer controls the workspace, they can force employees to hear their agenda while on the job. That gives them a powerful advantage (and considerable opportunity to drown out opposing points of view).

A company can tie up and put off a secret ballot vote for years using legal maneuvering, and use that time to drive off or intimidate the trouble-makers calling for the vote.

Do employers have the right to force workers to sit through hours of pushing a political candidate such as Barack Obama or John McCain? Or hours of religious indoctrination? I think not. So why is this different?

I'm not in a union, nor have I any interest in joining one. I think union leadership can be corrupt and the rank and file short-sighted. But I think they are a needed counterbalance to the abuses of capitalism.

Is the Card Check (which is already a legal method of choosing union representation) not good enough for you? Fine -- I'd love to hear another method that prevents employer abuses of the process. Because the secret ballot does not.