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The National Labor Ruination Board
Written by Erin Johansson   
November 20, 2007
In a scathing op-ed in The Washington Post, columnist Harold Meyerson re-names our failing workers’ rights agency the “National Labor Ruination Board” in response to the slew of anti-worker decisions issued in September.  Meyerson cited a case where the Labor Board denied illegally fired workers backpay for failing to immediately look for new work, “because to do so, the Bush appointees wrote in unconscious homage to Dickens, ‘would be to reward idleness.’”

Meyerson also nominated two of the Labor Board’s rulings to the “Double Standard Hall of Fame.”  In the Dana/Metaldyne ruling, the Republican majority ruled that when workers form a union by signing cards or petitions, they are subject to pressure and thus it is not the best way to determine worker sentiment.  However, in Wurtland Nursing, the Republican majority ruled that signed cards or petitions are a perfectly suitable demonstration of worker sentiment, making no reference to the potential for coercion from managers or co-workers.  Meyerson concluded:
Signed petitions from workers, in other words, are suspect when the workers want a union and proof positive when they don't.