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Monday, January 03, 2005

Playing With Words

The New York Times gives a pretty good summary of Bush II administration encroachments on the rights of workers to unionize while paying lip service.
"Taken one by one, I do not think these are the kinds of decisions that make one sit back and say, 'This is outrageous,' " said Theodore St. Antoine, an emeritus professor of labor law and former dean of the University of Michigan Law School. "At the same time, I have to concede that once more we're in the nibbling process. While none of them consist of a great big bite, the cumulative effect is to decrease the capability of unions to organize."

The language of a Bush appointee to the National Labor Relations Board in this story parallels the advice given by Republican pollster Frank Luntz to majority members of Congress on environmental issues: talk about balance, helping people, and reform while going about the business of removing important safeguards. The real story is not that the Bush Administration is against worker rights, it's that Bush's people have learned that by not saying so they can keep voters from realizing how far they are in the pockets of corporations.