November 21, 2007: Last Thursday, a band of roughly 1,000 demonstrators assembled by the AFL-CIO paraded past the White House, in a driving rain, to the headquarters of the National Labor Relations Board. They asked the board, which was established 72 years ago to protect workers' right to bargain, to cease and desist. No more rulings. And no more new members (the terms of three of the board's five members are due to expire shortly) who see their mission as destroying the right of employees to bargain with their bosses.
The outburst was prompted by the board's September work product: 61 decisions that both weakened workers' rights and ran counter to the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, which proclaims that the policy of the United States is to protect "the exercise by workers of full freedom of association [and] self-organization." Absent such rights, the act states, the nation's economy would suffer from workers' diminished purchasing power and run greater risks of economic downturns. It's a very Keynesian act, the NLRA.
Click here to read Harold Meyerson's full column in the Washington Post.