WMC: Union Busters, Liars

Maybe pressure from the public kept Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce on the sidelines in the spring Supreme Court race. Perhaps a new progressive majority at the Capitol forced WMC to ‘€œreassess’€ its pro-corporate, anti-worker lobbying efforts.

Or maybe the corporate titans at WMC were just biding time, saving their money, energy and whatever modicum of influence they might have on what really matters: busting unions.

WMC has a long history of anti-worker, anti-union lobbying efforts ‘€“ check out the good pro-worker legislation they opposed here, here, and here, just to give you a few. And WMC’€™s Issues Mobilization Council  has a history of running misleading and debunked ads.

Now, the WMC Issues Mobilization Council is out with a radio ad targeting Ron Kind for his support of workers and co-sponsorship of the Employee Free Choice Act. And once again, the ad is full of fear-mongering, false claims and scare-tactics. Here are some of the low-light from the WMC radio ad, and some of the FACTS about the Employee Free Choice Act.

FALSE CLAIM #1:  Congress wants to take away the secret ballot at work.

FACT: The Employee Free Choice Act gives the employees who want to form a union the free choice to form that union how they want. Under current law, the business owners, not the workers determine what by what method the workers may form a union. The Employee Free Choice Act gives the workers the ability to choose how they want to form a union.

FALSE CLAIM #2: Union leaders will intimidate workers into forming a union and ‘€œdon’€™t take ‘€˜No’€™ for an answer.

FACT: Employers were FAR MORE likely to be charged and found in violation of unfair labor practices than unions. According to the National Labor Relations Board 2007 Annual Report, 88.4%  of all unfair labor practices complains were issued against employers, compared to only 10.6% against unions. 16,887 total complaints were filed against employers in 2007, 287% more often than unions, against which only 5,992 complaints were filed in 2007.

FALSE CLAIM #3: The Employee Free Choice Act would leave women vulnerable to intimidation in the work place.

FACT: WMC has a long history of lobbying against legislation that would protect women and other workers in the workplace. WMC only claims to care about workers when it’€™s convenient. But just a little digging into WMC’€™s lobbying history reveals WMC’€™s callousness towards Wisconsin workers.  Just in the current legislative session WMC has opposed the following bills:

AB 41 ‘€“ Raises the state minimum wage
AB 22 ‘€“ Makes discrimination in employment a Class I felony AB 31/SB 20 ‘€“ Allows a person who has been discriminated against in the work place to bring an action in circuit court and to recover damages from a discriminating employer.
AB 40/SB 2 ‘€“ Requires companies that go bankrupt to pay their workers first before paying back Big Bankers and other loans
AB 152 ‘€“ Regulating mandatory overtime hours for health care workers.
AB 9/SB 11 ‘€“ Give all Veterans in Wisconsin the day off from work for Veterans’€™ Day
AB 116 ‘€“ Allowing parents time off from work to attend their kids’€™ parent-teacher conferences
AB 64 ‘€“ Protect employees from employers monitoring the email and internet usage

The fact is the Employee Free Choice Act gives more power to the workers and less power to the employers, so of course the corporatists at WMC are against it. WMC has a long history of doing everything it can to bust unions and keep workers under their thumb ‘€“ now it looks like WMC is willing to lie and fear-monger to try and keep its grip of power over workers in Wisconsin.

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