Workers who want to pass the Employee Free Choice Act don’t just have a broad coalition of allies in support of them—they’re also very, very lucky in their enemies. Opposing the legislation has become a cottage industry for out-of-work, right-wing hacks, and the fight has attracted the attention of one of the most widely loathed out-of-work, right-wing hacks: Dick Cheney.
The broadly unpopular former vice president attacked the Employee Free Choice Act as a “huge mistake” on a Fox News appearance yesterday, reports Sam Stein of the Huffington Post. And naturally—does it even need to be said—Cheney’s claims about what the bill would do are flatly false and repeatedly debunked.
As advocates of the Employee Free Choice Act, we enthusiastically welcome Dick Cheney as an opponent. What better symbol of the anti-worker campaign than an angry multimillionaire who’s already been broadly repudiated for his disastrous effects on the country? (Even some Republicans are wishing he’d “go back to his undisclosed location.”)
Meanwhile, yet another beloved public figure from the thankfully-ended Bush era is hitting the airwaves and the lecture circuit to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act—Bush’s top political strategist, Karl Rove.
On Monday, Rove visited Peoria, Ill., to talk to a handful of corporate leaders—and more than 200 union members turned up outside the hotel where he was speaking to say he’s wrong about the Employee Free Choice Act. Fired Up! Missouri reports that Rove also took the traveling anti-worker road show to St. Louis.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is bringing in 80 corporate bosses to D.C. this week for drop-in lobbying visits to senators. The big-money, anti-worker machine is hoping that its campaign contributions, disinformation and threats will speak more loudly than, say, numbers of actual people. The Chamber also is holding occasional anti-Employee Free Choice “information sessions” around the country to try to convince business leaders they’re heading for Armageddon.
And what’s happening in support of the Employee Free Choice Act? Workers across the country have made more than 60,000 phone calls and sent 140,000 handwritten letters urging their members of Congress to support Employee Free Choice; religious leaders are joining together to launch the “Faith Leaders for Workplace Fairness” campaign; and the coalition of supporters of workers’ freedom to form unions is large and growing.
So the opponents of workers’ freedom to bargain think they’re going to win by relying on disliked and discredited political has-beens like Newt, Dick and Karl to make their case?