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Republican Platform: Road Map to Dismantle Workers’ Rights

Now that the Republican National Convention—with its divisive policies, masked by a cynical call for unity—has wrapped up, let’s take a look at the deeply embedded anti-union and anti-worker philosophy in the Republican platform of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Daily Kos’ Laura Clawson says:

The basic message of the Republican platform on labor issues is this: Rights are there to be taken from workers and given to the 1 percent.  

Steven Greenhouse of The New York Times says the Republican platform “calls for numerous steps that could significantly weaken America’s labor unions.”

Just what does the platform say about workers’ rights, unions,  job safety, wages and more?

It “salutes Republican governors and state legislators” for their efforts to weaken workers’ rights, such as Wisconsin Gov. Scott’s Walker’s assault on the public-sector workers and the law he pushed through eliminating their collective bargaining rights.   

For the first time ever, the Republican platform calls for national "right to work" for less law. Such laws, says American Rights at Work:

drive down wages, benefits, and overall living standards for everyone…and laws do not create jobs or improve a state’s business climate.

Today, workers and employers are allowed to enter into voluntary agreements that allow the workers to choose to join a union by signing recognition cards and if the majority does, the employer will recognize the workers’ choice. The Republican platform calls for banning that practice.

The Republican platform calls for a California–like Prop. 32 law that would ban the use of payroll deductions—including voluntary—by union members who want to contribute to their union’s political activity.  

The Republican platform, writes Josh Eidelson of Salon.com:

takes a more hostile stance towards construction unions, demanding “an end to the Project Labor Agreements” and “repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act.” Both PLAs and Davis-Bacon establish wage standards for construction projects, making it easier for contractors that use union labor to compete with cheaper nonunion contractors for work (Davis-Bacon covers federal contracts; PLAs are project-specific agreements).

It also calls for overturning the National Labor Board’s (NLRB's) and the National Mediation Board’s recently approved fair union election rules.

The Republican platform says Clawson also would:

"rein in" the "overreaching regulation agenda" of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) , i.e., the effort to keep workers from being killed, injured, or made sick by their jobs. In fact, they'd rein OSHA in with a law they've oh-so-cleverly titled the REINS Act.

Today’s Republican platform has made a long rightward journey, even conservative icon Ronald Reagan ran a platform in 1980 that said:

We reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental principle of fairness in labor relations, including the legal right of unions to organize workers and to represent them through collective bargaining.

At least today, Republicans no longer mask their hatred of workers and their unions.

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