Battle over Labor Law Reform Shows True Power of the Right

Public Eye, Summer 2009

Some people may enjoy watching the Right thrash around trying to find its way in the Obama Age, but I take the election results and their aftermath as a sign of a country dangerously divided. There really was a stark difference in the major party candidates, and 46 percent voted for the guy who lost. 59,946,378 is a lot of people. This political force isn’t going away.

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In a special Labor Day collaboration with syndicated radio program Making Contact, PRA Editorial Director Abby Scher uncovers the truth behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s multimillion dollar misinformation campaign to defeat the bill in the name of saving small businesses. Listen to her documentary, Still Looking for the Union Label, here.

Antilabor Campaigns are Nothing New

Antilabor campaigns by corporate interests are nothing new, and are frequently masked by rhetoric about freedom of choice for employees. The main framing of these anti-labor campaigns is built around the idea of a "Right to Work." Corporate CEOs and wealthy "free market" economists portray themselves as friends of the working man and woman. Like most Big Lie campaigns, the truth emerges when history and outcome are compared to current rhetoric and promises.

 

 


Anti-Union Campaigns and The Big Three Bullies

Starting in the 1890s, and gaining speed in the 1930s, anti-union groups have used hysterical red-baiting rhetoric to tar unions as anti-American and anti-free enterprise. Some of these same players are trying to stop labor reforms today that would make it easier to organize unions.

 

Anti-Union Impresario

When Reed Larson stepped down in 2003 as executive director of the National Right to Work Committee after 45 years on the job, the Washington Times quoted him as saying, “This has been an opportunity for me to have the greatest impact in defeating the entity [unions] I feel is very detrimental to individual freedom.” It was a rare moment of candor in a career spent claiming that he and the National Right to Work Committee were not against unions—just against abuses by unions.


Funding the Anti-Union Propaganda Campaign

Over the past 20 years, corporate conservatives and economic libertarians have spent more that $170 million trying to convince us that labor unions are bad for America. They also seek to undermine government laws and regulations that protect a worker's right to organize a union without harassment or termination.

Von Mises Rises from the Scrap Heap of History

The arguments of anti-New Deal free marketer Ludwig von Mises are echoed in conservatives’ fight against unions. These theories are called the "Austrian" school or the "Chicago" school, but the lesson they are teaching is that corporations are good and unions are bad.


Card Check, FDR, and Right-Wing History

The Obama administration will face stiff opposition to the pro-union "Card Check" legislation he promised to support, known officially as the Employee Free Choice Act. Opponents have launched a campaign that highlights the lack of union democracy, corruption, union bosses, and street thugs—all wrapped into a frame of coercive "Big Labor" versus individual rights.


The Anti-Union Network

The Center for Union Facts is only one of many anti-labor front groups created by business. American Rights at Work tracks the worst.

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What's all this talk about Obama being a socialist?
Why do they Hate Obama and FDR?

For the economic conservatives and right-wing libertarians, Obama is leading America down the slippery slope towards socialism, collectivism, and tyranny, just like FDR in the 1930s. For the Christian Right, Obama is creating the type of “Big Government” that is a sign of the collectivist One World Government forged by the antichrist in the End Times. Together, these two sectors have launched a campaign against socialism and Satan.

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