Union Gains under Clinton-Gore
Source Dennis R. Redmond
Date 00/11/26/02:10

On Sat, 25 Nov 2000, Nathan Newman wrote:

> The reality is that Gore said more things about the rights of unions to
> organize and how great unions are for the country in that one interview
> Clinton did in his whole Presidency.

-Y'all in the legal profession are so *literal* about texts. It's called
-"campaign rhetoric", and it's a money-saving device to reappropriate the
-labor of unpaid union volunteers to get out the vote, so that a
-multibillion-dollar lobbying machine can continue to enforce its will in
-the corridors of power.

Actually, it's also Gore having one of the most pro-union voting records of
any Southern Senator and as good as most Northern Dems. Again the
accusation that union leaders and volunteers are stupid dupes for "campaign
rhetoric" rather than making a strategic decision. Sure there's campaign
rhetoric but you miss the point that Gore felt the need to speak publicly
about support for the right to organize-- part of the fight politically is
to force politicians to make political promises and affirm the need for a
group's priorities.

>It says something about the Dems, that the only major pro-labor
>achievement one can point to after eight years of Clinton is...
>appointmenting people to the NLRB. Thank goodness this completely
>outweighs NAFTA, the WTO, tax gifts to Wall Street, and eight years of
>Bubble madness!

Funny how many times things are repeated and mischaracterized, so on the
pro-union side of the ledger:
* Veto of the TEAM Act
* Support of the Striker Replacement bill (filibustered by GOP Senators)
* Defense of Davis-Bacon rules for union work on government projects
* Executive orders banning federal contracts to union-busters (overturned by
GOP-appointed judges)
* New contracting rules to blacklist union-busters for specific projects
(untested in the courts)
* Vetoing of anti-union riders in 1995
* FCC approval of expansion of unionized telecom companies/blocking mergers
of anti-union companies (MCI-Sprint)
* Approval of new OSHA rules on ergonomics- largest expansion of OSHA
authority since the 1970s
* Appointment of large number of pro-union judges
* NLRB expansion of right to organize- interns, graduates instructors,
temporary workers
* NLRB extension of collective organizing rights in non-union workplaces
* Speedup of NLRB decision-making - critical for organizing that needs fast

Yes, trade is the big issue where labor is pissed at Clinton-Gore, although
Gore has made a commitment to include labor-enviro standards in any future
trade agreements, embodied in the recent US-Jordan trade agreement which
included core ILO labor standards as an enforceable part of the trade

There was support for broader labor law reform that the GOP opposed. Now,
some folks say it's all a feint by the Dems that they would never follow up
with if they had full control. So let's look at what the California
Democratic Party has passed with full control of the legislature and
governor's office:

* $1 Increase in Minimum Wage to $6.75
* Passage of living wage ordinances in cities across state
* Right to Organize-- bars all state contractors from using state funds to
oppose unionization
* Right of local government unions to register unfair labor practices with
state agency and right to vote for union shop
* Restored daily overtime pay for anyone working more than 8 hours, worth $1
billion per year for Cal workers
* Picketline Freedom of Speech- sharply limits state judges from issuing
injunctions during strikes
* Prevailing Wage- legislatively ended practice used by GOP governors to
undermine prevailing wage on govt contracts
* Garment Workers- creates state doctrine of joint liability on garment
manufactors for work condictions and pay by contractors

For millions of workers, these differences from the GOP are far more than

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