Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bush's Union-Busting Revolving Door Problem

When Bush nominated labor law attorney Robert Battista to become the chairman of the NLRB(National Labor Relations Board)in 2002, Bush knew full well that Battista would help tip the NLRB against working people and the labor unions who support them in labor conflicts. Then in 2006, Democrats won back Senate control, and Senator Edward Kennedy opposed the renomination of Battista for second term after Battista took away union representation from some Supervisory workers(Oakwood Health Care), put restrictions on unions using Emails to communicate with their members in the workplace, made it very difficult for illegally-fired employees to receive their back pay, allowed employers to practice job discrimination against any person seeking employment who supports labor unions and made it more difficult to form unions through majority sign-up of workkers, and other antiworker and antiunion decisions.

When Battista realized that he was unlikely to win a second term after his four years of antiworker and antilabor union decisions, he withdrew from consideration for a second term. Now in typical Washington revolving door fashion, Battista has taken a job as an attorney at the antilabor union law firm of Littler Mendelson, and is now able to profit from his background of work at the NLRB and use his inside knowledge of loopholes in NLRB regulations to help employers destroy labor unions or prevent new unions from forming at their company.

The Battista tale involves all of the rotten aspects of Bush's Washington, a revolving door system where Bush Administration insiders are able to quit one job with the government, and turn right around and use their inside knowledge of the system to turn a profit with outside employers who hire them because of their background. And with so many workers hurting financially because of the poor economy, Battista is in a very good position to hurt the ability of workers to join labor unions and get better pay, health benefits. job security and retirement benefits, by being able to market his inside knowledge of the NLRB to union-busting clients.

The Washington revolving door system does indeed take a real human toll.


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