New Front in the War on LaborComments
It is my contention that we will see bills in the next 5 years that outright ban unionization, even in the private sector. And even I am too pessimistic, we will certainly see a strategy from Republicans not so different than their abortion strategy–define the laws down so narrowly that very few people will be able to join unions. I’m not sure what the labor version of Virginia’s state-supported sexual assault law would be. Some sort of Clockwork Orange-style montage for anyone who signed a union card?
Anyway, the latest front is in Georgia. As Sarah Jaffe reports, the Georgia legislature is looking to ban picketing. Creating lovely new laws such as “conspiracy to commit criminal trespass,” the bill specifically goes after organizations picketing outside people’s homes. It turns out that the 1st Amendment has a clause that ensures “the resident’s right to quiet enjoyment” of their home. I’m sure the extremely principled men of the Supreme Court will find a constitutional justification for this new right, at least when applied to plutocrats!
Along with the attacks on unions and other protest groups’ right to peaceably assemble, the bill also includes a slew of provisions to make it clear that the already right-to-work-for-less state isn’t going to make it easy for workers to join unions. “Right-to-work” already makes sure that workers don’t have to even pay their share of the costs of representation, despite requiring the union to bargain for all employees in a union shop. The new bill would reiterate this, and require private employers to post notices in the workplace reminding workers that they have the “right” not to join the union. (In other words, it mandates anti-union information being posted in the workplace; management will no doubt be happy to comply.)
It also requires workers to certify in writing every year that yes, they really do want their boss to deduct their union representation fees and dues from their paycheck.
The Rick Smith Show also had a story on this, interviewing Ben Speight. Good stuff.