Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Labor Board: Non-Defender of Labor

There was a time when the National Labor Relations Board was considered an advocate and protector of working stiffs. Sadly, that day is long over:

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that employers have the right to prohibit workers from using the company’s e-mail system to send out union-related messages, a decision that could hamper communications between labor unions and their membership.

In a 3-to-2 ruling released on Friday, the board held that it was legal for employers to prohibit union-related e-mail so long as employers had a policy barring employees from sending e-mail for “non-job-related solicitations” for outside organizations.

Actually, I'm surprised the board included a caveat that they had to "have a policy barring employees sending non-job-related solicitations" already in place.

As I've said before, we live in a corporatist age, a corporatist world. Which means that not only must employee organizations be reined in, but government must be put in service of corporations.

So now the labor board serves companies rather than labor (good luck to the WGA with its "unfair labor practice filed with the NLRB). And the Federal government exists to save companies from their own excesses (subprime bailouts, car company bailouts, bank and savings-and-loan bailouts, etc.), also to speed the privatization of formerly government activities along (Blackwater, Halliburton, et al).

You might not like the reality, but it's always better to know how the real-world operates ... and acclimatize yourself. Keeps you from crying so much at night.


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