fresh voices from the front lines of change







Corporate opponents of workers' freedom to form unions repeatedly have shown they are not interested in the welfare of their employees or any of the pseudo-lofty ideals they cite while fighting the Employee Free Choice Act.

Now, they've made clear they will do anything--even destroy jobs, communities and harm the U.S. economy--to ensure that more American workers do not have a voice on the job. (And this just in--they're now using Joe the Plumber as an anti-Employee Free Choice Act spokes-idiot. That guy can't seem to keep a job.)

In Wisconsin, a local economic development official in Eau Claire County said a project was derailed because of the proposed Employee Free Choice Act. According to today's Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, the unnamed project would have brought a

$50 million investment to Eau Claire County in the next five years, along with creating up to 800 full-time jobs, Brian Doudna, executive director of the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp., said in a news release Wednesday evening. Construction was expected to begin this year. The first employees were to begin work in early 2010, with about 100 new jobs being created. [snip]

'Proposed federal and state legislation, as shown by this company's decision, can impact location decisions and limit the private sector's ability to create quality jobs for Eau Claire area residents. This is especially disappointing given the condition of our current national, regional and local economies.'

Yo, Brian: What's 'disappointing' is the blackmail screaming out here. The threat by employers to destroy the community they theoretically are invested in just so those employers don't have to actually talk with workers across a bargaining table about what might make for a safe workplace, what they need to support their families and retire without working until they die.

That's bad enough. But here's the kicker:

Doudna said if the bill is approved, the project will not occur--at least not in the U.S.

Blackmail, big time. In short, U.S. corporations are saying: Give us unlimited control over the lives of our workers, or we'll go to another nation where 'human rights' is a dirty phrase and 'workers' rights' even worse.

The local Chamber of Commerce's response is to attack government.

Bob McCoy, president of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, said the government essentially is stopping growth in the Chippewa Valley.

'I think it's one of those situations when the state starts trying to generate additional revenue or put certain criteria on business, it can reverse itself,' he said. 'There's a potential for the Employee Free Choice Act, and (businesses) can't afford those types of consequences.

Because the Wall Street way worked so well for us, huh, Bob?

There's a lot to be said about corporate greed fueling the opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act. But as the nation's $4 billion annual union-busting industry shows, more than money is involved. When corporations are willing to spend far more to fight unionization than they would spend on a unionized workforce, when they are willing to rip out the economic guts of the community--then something seriously is wrong with the culture of those who call the economic shots in this nation. Because the corporate threat screaming from Eau Claire is not just blackmail. It's anti-worker. Anti-you. Anti-me. Anti-American.

This is a crosspost from Firedoglake.

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