Working People Need to Know If We Can Trust Donald Trump’s NLRB Nominees to Protect Our Freedoms

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President Donald Trump chose two nominees for the National Labor Relations Board whose commitment to the freedom of working people to come together and negotiate is seriously in doubt. These two men, Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel, have a terrible record of actively trying to strip working people of their freedoms. 

Republicans are rushing to get these nominations through, but it is imperative that Congress use upcoming hearings and meetings to find out whether these men will side with working people or with the richest 1% of Americans. NLRB decisions and actions have a real impact on the lives of working people, particularly their ability to join together with co-workers to advocate for positive change at work.

Of the nominations, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:

Marvin Kaplan has never practiced labor law, and his experience comes from crafting legislation for politicians that rigs the rules against working people. William Emanuel has a long record of practicing labor law on behalf of employers, most recently at one of the most infamous union-busting law firms in the country. On their face, the resumes of both nominees appear to be in direct conflict with the mission of the NLRB.

Emanuel, a member of the staunchly anti-worker Federalist Society, has extensive experience representing employers in collective bargaining, union elections and unfair labor practice proceedings under the National Labor Relations Act. He recently filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that employers should be allowed to require employees to waive their right to file class-action lawsuits or any other method of joining with others in seeking relief for rights violations. Emanuel has directly worked on numerous issues currently before the NLRB, raising serious questions about his ability to be impartial on those cases.

Kaplan hasn’t practiced labor law. His only related experience is in staffing a couple of Republican, pro-corporate committees in Congress and helping run a series of oversight hearings criticizing the NLRB under President Barack Obama. He drafted legislation to overturn several NLRB actions—legislation that would strip working people of their freedom to join together. Like Emanuel, Kaplan has actively worked on numerous issues he would have to rule on if confirmed to the NLRB, and Congress needs to ask if he could be impartial on, or recuse himself from, those cases.

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Reposted from the AFL-CIO

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From AFL-CIO

Union Matters

Failing Bridges Hold Public Hostage

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) gave the public just a few hours’ notice before closing a major bridge in March, citing significant safety concerns.

The West Seattle Bridge functioned as an essential component of  the city’s local and regional transportation network, carrying 125,000 travelers a day while serving Seattle’s critical maritime and freight industries. Closing it was a huge blow to the city and its citizens. 

Yet neither Seattle’s struggle with bridge maintenance nor the inconvenience now facing the city’s motorists is unusual. Decades of neglect left bridges across the country crumbling or near collapse, requiring a massive investment to keep traffic flowing safely.

When they opened it in 1984, officials predicted the West Seattle Bridge would last 75 years.

But in 2013, cracks started appearing in the center span’s box girders, the main horizontal support beams below the roadway. These cracks spread 2 feet in a little more than two weeks, prompting the bridge’s closure.

And it’s still at risk of falling.  

The city set up an emergency alert system so those in the “fall zone” could be quickly evacuated if the bridge deteriorates to the point of collapse.

More than one-third of U.S. bridges similarly need repair work or replacement, a reminder of America’s urgent need to invest in long-ignored infrastructure.

Fixing or replacing America’s bridges wouldn’t just keep Americans moving. It would also provide millions of family-supporting jobs for steel and cement workers, while also boosting the building trades and other industries.

With bridges across the country close to failure and millions unemployed, America needs a major infrastructure campaign now more than ever.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work