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by Victor D. Torres

As we proceed through the Summer season, the battle lines between working families and our adversaries continue to heat up.

As we go to press, the President has placed Brett Kavanaugh into nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by the announced July 31st retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

While the Supreme Court has never been a consistent ally for working people, there have been decisions that have become foundation for protecting worker’s rights for decades that now stand to be scrutinized by a future Supreme Court.

The landmark 1975 Weingarten case which granted employees the right to request representation during management’s investigatory meetings is a potential example of established law pertaining to worker’s rights which is in jeopardy.

If you consider that the Weingarten decision has gone through numerous transitions over the last 43 years (whether Weingarten applies in the non-Union workplace being one example) based on fluctuating political winds, it should not surprise any of us during the age of the recent Janus decision (which overturned the 40-year Abood decision), that we are under attack.

It has been reported here many times that there is a War on Workers taking place across this country. It is sometimes more evident in some areas based on the makeup of anti-working family State Legislatures such as those that currently exist in Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana and not so evident in the more worker friendly states such as Washington, New York and our own California.

Nonetheless, this war is raging and all of us need to pay attention to what is going on around us and make sure that we are diligent when signs of chipping away at our rights becomes evident.

The dramatic changes previously mentioned in Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana did not happen overnight. It was a gradual build up of change that ultimately resulted in the downfall and elimination of worker’s rights in those states.

Sure fire alarms that something bad is brewing is the influx of big money from outside interests in seemingly small time political races such as School Boards or Fire/Water Districts.

It is within these small races where the seeds are planted to then graduate and focus on College Districts, County Boards and City Councils.

Once enough political momentum is garnered, the move is made to the State Legislature and ultimately to Federal offices such as the U.S. House and U.S. Senate seats within the State.
The above is the blue print on how such changes fester, grow and quietly become so powerful that the next move happens swiftly so that there is not enough time (or enough money) to stop it.

This is how workers in Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana describe what happened to them. These workers are our Sisters and Brothers in today’s workplace and to no fault of their own, they were blindsided and betrayed by politicians who were working and plotting against them.

In 2018, for those of us who reside and work in one of the states that is friendlier to working families, we find ourselves at a tipping point. It will be up to us to not only maintain the interests of workers in our areas, but we will also be the leaders in turning around and repairing the damage that has taken place in other states.

We must continue to communicate our message of strength and unity to the workplace at large, Union and non-Union and organize the non-Union workforce

The pending November General Election will provide us with an opportunity to prove ourselves and to begin the healing process for all working people.

Make sure you participate and that you vote in November.


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