CLEVELAND — A spirited crowd of Working America, Jobs with Justice and local unions’ members picketed the federal building here Nov. 19 to protest a new raft of anti-labor decisions by the National Labor Relations Board.

They beat drums, chanted and carried signs reading “Shut down the NLRB for renovation.”

“The Bush labor board is the most anti-labor board in decades,” Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor, told the demonstrators. “It’s really the National Employer Relations Board.”

Citing 61 new decisions issued in September, Applegate said the new policies make it harder for workers to form unions and recover back pay if they are fired for supporting a union. They also allow employers to discriminate against job applicants with union sympathies.

“Big business is at war with the workers,” said Anton Farmby, city director of SEIU Local 3. “The board appointed by President Bush is worse than having no labor board at all.”

Such demonstrations took place in 20 cities and towns around the country, including Washington, D.C.

“We’ll be back! We’ll be back!” the crowd chanted as the rally wound up.

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