A few days ago Senate Minority Leader McConnell spoke at a press conference at the National Press Club and forecasted that “the Employee Free Choice Act will fundamentally harm America and Europeanize America.” While on the campaign in October, a month after the economy suffered from a multi-organ system failure, Senator McCain said, “I think it’s [Employee Free Choice Act] a threat to one of the fundamentals of democracy.”
Well, they have a point. Passing the Employee Free Choice Act would end the world as we know it. Now let’s think about that for a moment. Would that be so bad? I don’t think the 1.1 million people who lost their jobs just over the past 2 months would think so.
The Employee Free Choice Act is a pretty simple bill. The legislation calls for the choice of unionization to be back in the hands of the workers. It also helps make sure employees who do unionize get a contract with their employers within a year and the bill establishes actual penalties to employers who violate workers’ rights. This doesn’t sound like earth shattering, world-ending legislation. But 60 million Americans have indicated they would like to be in a union if given the opportunity. Unionization challenges the power structure. Unions create a checks and balances system in business. There goes the company jet.
The world that Mitch McConnell, John McCain and the Chamber of Commerce are so desperate to protect is the world of ridiculously compensated executives who award themselves multi-million dollar bonuses after requiring bailout funds, raiding pension funds and firing thousands of their employees. Is this the world you want to protect? Has anything about Wall Street, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, or Lehman Brothers inspired your confidence? Poor management and extreme greed going unchecked eventually had to be felt. Workers, a thousand here and a thousand there have been the ones to bear the brunt of corporate failure and avarice. Now we all feel it. And we all are literally paying for it.
It is time to build a new economy. Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ slapped us right across the face. Stimulate the economy all you want, but give people a say in their workplace, in their future. It’s time to start a world as we deserve it.