The Bush administration’s war on workers

October 6th, 2003 – 8:32 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

There’s a great piece over at Daily Kos about how once again the Bush administration is trying to tip the scales in favor of their big business cronies.

This week the DoL imposed a new set of reporting requirements that one member of Congress described as “Draconian.” He and over two dozen colleagues protested the rules when they were proposed last Spring as “costly requirements would be unduly burdensome. We believe that Union resources are best utilized when representing members during negotiations or grievance handling, not adapting and complying with an unprecedented level of detailed financial information and government forms.”

Who are these labor radicals, you might wonder? They’re Republican members of the House, who agreed with the AFL-CIO that the rules

will burden over 5000 labor organizations – - only 70 of which are large, international unions – - with extensive new reporting requirements requiring filling out huge numbers of forms, thus leaving less time for contract negotiations, grievance handling, organizing and other core union activities. One union, the Airline Pilots Association, estimates that the reporting under the new rules would result in five and a half feet of paper each year. In addition, the Bush rules will reveal the details of workers’ organizations’ finances to employers, thus putting workers at a disadvantage at the bargaining table.

Furthermore, the AFL-CIO estimates the new rules will cost labor unions an additional $1 billion per year.

It’s just a blatant attempt to hamper the efforts of the unions by burying them in red tape, while at the same time Bush and his friends turn around and try to get every industry they can deregulated. You can certainly see where their sympathies lie.

In some good news for workers, the House voted to agree with the Senate in saying that the Department of Labor’s attempt to push through new overtime rules (which would have seen up to 8 million white collar workers lose the ability to get overtime pay) goes way too far. The Bush administration isn’t about to give up though, meaning that a lot of workers could still lose out on getting paid for the extra hours they work each week.

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