I could have entitled this the Republican War on the Constitution, because that is the tactic Republicans in several states are using do deny workers their freedom of speech and their freedom of assembly. Republicans want to make certain that, when workers have grievances, there is no inconvenience to the companies, and that YOU don’t get to see it.
In moves that pro-labor legal scholars warn may violate the U.S. Constitution, Mississippi, Michigan and Tennessee Republicans have introduced bills that would strengthen the hands of bosses faced with protesting employees.
“The language is so broad, the potential is so destructive, that what they’re basically doing is outlawing strikes …” University of Texas labor law professor Julius Getman told Salon. “Or they’re doing their best to limit strikes or picketing to situations where you have two or three people standing still. The idea of the union manifesting concerted power of workers is something that they’re seeking to prohibit.”
“People have a right to free speech, but they don’t have a right to keep someone from going to work,” countered state Rep. Jeremy Durham, who introduced that state’s anti-picketing bill.
All three state bills would lower the bar for businesses to seek and secure judicial injunctions against labor picketing – a form of protest long used by workers seeking to dissuade customers or strikebreakers, attract reporters or supporters, and spotlight alleged abuses. In addition to changing injunction rules, the proposal in Mississippi’s House would ban picketing that “has or intends the effect of violence or intimidation, near or contiguous to the business’ customers”; Tennessee’s would ban picketing that is “preventing the pursuit of any lawful work or employment by means of disturbance or nuisance.”
At a private home (say, a CEO’s mansion), Mississippi’s and Tennessee’s bills would make disrupting “the resident’s right to quiet enjoyment” grounds for convicting picketers of a crime. The bill in Michigan’s House would remove current language making certain picketing a misdemeanor, but add language imposing a $1,000 a day fine for a person (including an individual protesting worker, not just an organization or a union official) repeatedly found to have picketed illegally. And the bill passed by Mississippi’s Senate would allow an individual picketer to be thrown in jail for six months… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Salon.com>
These are the very same Republicans, who insisted that it was their Constitutional right to physically accost women seeking abortion services and threaten bodily harm to abortion providers at their homes.
I remember how Republicans in Congress used to wave little paper Constitutions, while falsely claiming that they are supporting it. In reality, they would trash the Constitution for the 0.1%
Support Labor against these injustices!