Wednesday, March 2, 2011

JMO - Being Stupid

Not me, of course. If I'm stupid, I'll know it and acknowledge it, most of the time anyway. I'm referring to Representative Gringrey of Georgia, along with other Republicans, who want to strip federal employees from doing their job. But my anger isn't just about their attempt to limit employees rights and protections, but trying to disguise this issue as unions and collective bargaining.

The truth is very few federal employees belong to unions, which are mostly holdover unions from decades ago and haven't been dissolved. For the vast majority of federal employees, like myself when I worked in the Department of Interior, the only "union" we could join wasn't a union but an employee lobbying organization. The only real exception is the AWPU.

The truth is federal employees aren't unionized, can't strike, can't collectively bargain, and whatever else union employees get as part of contracts for work. The vast majority of federal employees are Civil Service or Wage Grade employees. Their pay, benefits, rights, protections, etc. are managed by the Office Personnel Managment under the laws, policies and regulations set by the President and Congress.

And now the Republicans in Congress are trying to equate the very few union, non-Postal, federal employees with all federal employees. It's a lie of enormous proportions. But it hasn't stopped them from sponoring HR 122 to limit the time those few union employees can work on union activities.

Except the law is already quite good and doesn't interfer with any employees official work time and duty. It's a sham and a shame. It doesn't matter that we don't restrict or limit their time when they're chasing campaign donors, talking with and accepting money from corporations and lobbyist, and other activities we might find interfers with the work we elected them and expect them to do.

It's just politics, but it's clear the Republicans want to permanently dismantle unions in this country, however small or insignificant, even the few federal employees who are still in viable unions. It doesn't matter the unions haven't had much to negotiate let alone get from the government. It doesn't matter that most of the negotiations involved employee rights, protections, appeals/grievances, etc., and not financial matters outside their control.

It's about simple union-busting, wherever they can find it. It's about attacking working class Americans and taking away the rights of Americans to work for fair rights and benefits. Americans want jobs. They want fair wages, good benefits and decent employee rights and protections. Something Republicans are against, at any price or cost.

Let's not forget this in 2012.

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