Republican platform calls for destruction of workers’ rights

It’s this simple: The Democratic Party platform supported by Hillary Clinton is straight forward and advocates for workers’ rights. The Republican Party platform supports a corporate, anti-worker agenda.

Here’s a comparison. Because the Republicans use coded, twisted language, we’ve included helpful translations.

Democratic Party Platform: “The Democratic Party believes that when workers are strong, America is strong. …

“Democrats believe so-called ‘right to work’ laws are wrong for workers and wrong for America.”

Republican Party Platform: “We support the right of states to enact right-to-work laws and call for a national law to protect the economic liberty of the modern workforce.”

Translation: We will do everything in our power to make the U.S. union-free. State right to work laws drain the resources of unions by requiring them to represent workers at unionized workplaces who don’t belong to the union. As right wingers take over state legislatures, more and more states have passed such laws. Today, a total of 26 states have them.

Democratic Party Platform: “Democrats will make it easier for workers, public and private, to exercise their right to organize and join unions. …”

Republican Party Platform: “[The NLRB is] attacking the franchise model of business development, which is essential to the flexibility and creativity of the new economy.”

Translation: We believe corporations should be free to treat their employees any way they wish to.

Democratic Party Platform: “A major reason for the 40-year decline in the middle class is that the rights of workers to bargain collectively for better wages and benefits have been under attack at all levels.

Republican Party Platform: [We] challenge the anachronistic labor laws that limit workers’ freedom and lock them into the workplace rules of their great-grandfathers.

Translation: Today, we want to strip workers of collective bargaining rights which in the past resulted in higher wages and better benefits as production and profits increased.

Democratic Party Platform: “We will fight to pass laws that direct the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to certify a union if a simple majority of eligible workers sign valid authorization cards, and that brings companies to the negotiating table.

Republican Party Platform: “Instead of facilitating change, the…National Labor Relations Board (is) determined to reverse it. …They are wielding provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act from the 1930s … They outlawed alternatives to unions …”

Translation: Even though Republicans have succeeded in weakening worker protection laws, they are still not weak enough to suit them. (Note: Richard Griffin, NRLB general counsel, recently pointed out that although the NLRB recently cited Wal-Mart 288 times for violating workers’ rights, the penalties were so weak they did nothing to prevent further violations. He said: “The National Labor Relations Act has not necessarily been flexible enough to accommodate workers.”

Democratic Party Platform: “We will continue to vigorously oppose … attack[s] on prevailing wage standards.”

Republican Party Platform: “Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) … leave workers in a form of peonage to the NLRB.”

Translation: The Republicans want to outlaw PLAs. In the past, the federal government required construction contractors bidding for federal jobs to sign a PLA, in which they promised to pay their workers union-level wages and provide conditions that met high standards. Today PLAs are no longer a required prerequisite for getting a federal contract, but some federal agencies still use them from time to time. The Republicans also want to outlaw “prevailing wage standards,” which are standards of pay and benefits contractors working on federal jobs must pay their workers whether or not a PLA is in force.

Photo: The front line of a voting rights rally heading to the United States Capitol building. CWA Facebook.


CONTRIBUTOR

Larry Rubin
Larry Rubin

Larry Rubin has been a union organizer, a speechwriter and an editor of union publications. He was a civil rights organizer in the Deep South and is often invited to speak on applying Movement lessons to today's challenges. He has produced several folk music shows.

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