Industrial Relations, Labour-management News - National and International - the Republicans' Platform Eviscerates Workers' Rights - A Government for the People?

 
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The Republican Party's official 2016 platform, released during party convention, proudly states "the greatest asset of the American economy is the hard working American." The writers must have a twisted sense of humor.

In a not particularly unexpected move, the party platform eviscerates the "hard working American," denying workers of their right to unionize while targeting their most vulnerable communities.

Grand old union busters

Perhaps the strongest anti-union feature of the Republican Party's platform is the call for national right-to-work (RTW) legislation. RTW laws, the bane of unions nationwide, prevent unions from collecting fees from non-members, who nevertheless benefit from unions' grievance and bargaining services.

The platform claims that these laws will "protect the economic liberty of the modern workforce," but in fact, they do just the opposite. According to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, workers in RTW states make $5,791 (12 percent) less per year than workers without RTW, and are far less likely to be insured.

More importantly, RTW weakens unions by forcing them to serve those who don't pay for their services. When Michigan approved a right-to-work law in 2012, its union membership dropped by 48,000, despite the addition of 44,000 new jobs.

The platform also targets both unionized Transportation Security Administration employees and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)'s presence in Native American communities, with Republicans pledging to "correct (the) mistake" of permitting TSA employees to organize, and claiming to...

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