The media and corporate America appear to be in lockstep nowadays in their opposition to any initiative that might be good for working men and women.
On both the national and state levels, labor unions have been pounded by various business groups and the print and television media.
Here in Colorado, veteran labor observers can’t remember when the Denver Post ever supported a worker’s issue, either national or in the state.
In recent months the Post has joined most of the nation’s press in opposing the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which may soon be voted on in Congress. The Post has attacked EFCA, not only in its editorials, but also in the misinformation put out by the newspaper’s cadre of anti-worker columnists.
In addition to the media, most of the nation’s business organizations have joined in this fight to deny a basic workplace right to thousands—perhaps millions–of American workers who want to become union members. Indeed, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is spending millions of dollars on national advertising in its campaign against EFCA.
While it is true that EFCA would make it easier for unions to organize workers, it is patently untrue that it would prohibit secret ballot elections for union representation.
You wouldn’t know that from the news coverage and deceptive television advertising, both of which claim that EFCA would deny workers a secret ballot election
Under EFCA, employees may choose either a secret ballot election or a majority sign-up process (card-check), which has been a part of federal labor law since 1935. Currently workers may use card-check only if their employers agree, which they rarely do. EFCA simply takes the decision away from employers and gives it to the employees, where it rightfully belongs.
If workers choose the majority sign-up, the union would be required to obtain a majority of cards signed in favor of union representation before it can become the workers’ bargaining representative.
True to form, the Post recently published another editorial praising Gov. Bill Ritter for vetoing a bill that would have given Firefighters the right to collectively bargain with local governments. The veto was a blatant double cross to the Firefighters who had been assured by the governor that he supported the bill. The Post also editorialized against the bill when it was passed by the legislature.
A Post editorial published in March provides another example of the newspaper’s bias against workers. The editorial attacked legislation that would have allowed workers to receive unemployment benefits if they were locked out by their employer through no fault of their own during a labor dispute.
The legislature passed the bill and then it was vetoed by Ritter.
Last year, in an unprecedented front page editorial, the Post blasted Ritter for issuing an executive order creating a relatively benign “partnership agreement” with state employee unions. Basically, the agreement allows the unions to meet with their bureaucratic managers to talk over issues and try to resolve differences.
Hysterically, the Post said the agreement constituted “collective bargaining for tens of thousands of state employees,” which is hogwash. There are no provisions in the agreement for bona fide collective bargaining, in which management and unions negotiate for wages, hours, benefits and working conditions.
The governor’s executive order can be repudiated by any succeeding administration, and undoubtedly will be if a Republican is elected governor
Most economists agree that consumer spending will play a huge part in righting the U.S. economy, because Corporate America desperately needs consumers to put money into play by purchasing goods and services.
Experts also say one of the main reasons the current recession endures is that workers do not have the purchasing power they need to drive our economy.
And yet the business community and its allies in the media—including the Denver Post–remain fully committed to the race to the bottom by trying to keep wages down and limiting benefits.
Hard to figure how that’s going to work for the Denver Post.
A likely scenario is that Post readership among working men and women–who probably still rely on newspapers more than the internet for news–will continue to shrink as long as the newspaper keeps churning out anti-worker propaganda in its editorials and opinion columns.