I apologize for frequently calling the BIAW a bunch of “bastards.” Such a reference unfairly impugns the reputations of other, more respectable bastards. So as a point of fairness, I’m going to try to be more precise.
Anyway… it looks like those fucking bastards at the BIAW are up to exactly what I’ve been saying they are up to: destroying organized Labor in Washington state.
The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), one of the state’s most powerful conservative voices, is considering sponsoring a so-called “right-to-work” initiative that would prohibit mandatory union dues.
Gee… I wonder if the Seattle Times could have been any more understated?
The fucking bastards at the BIAW virtually own Dino Rossi, spending $750,000 on his behalf before the election, and God knows how much since. They are the financiers of the failed orange revolution, an effort to overthrow our elected governor through lies, deceit, and bullying. They have printed propagandistic newspaper ads, bumper stickers and fliers, mailed out postcards promoting the right-wing blogs, and launched an unprecedented post-election paid-media campaign.
These are the fucking bastards who fraudulently obtained the signatures of hundreds of voters by sending them sham surveys with $10 “thank you” checks… who devoted their entire staff towards producing a felon list that carelessly defamed the names of hundreds of innocent voters… and who sources tell me have hired private investigators to dig up dirt on public officials and other “enemies.” (I’ve noticed a suspicious inquiry on my own credit report.)
A “powerful conservative voice”…? The BIAW has the loudest, most partisan and mean-spirited conservative voice in the state… and millions of dollars to back it up. Funded by a loophole in our workers compensation system, they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars buying themselves Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson… and just to be on the safe side, bankrolled Attorney General Rob McKenna to boot.
And now these bastards… these fucking, fascist bastards… angered by their impotent failure to shove Rossi into office by any means possible, are preparing to spend their millions on their long threatened “right-to-work” initiative… a Goebbels-esque phrase that offends the sensibilities of anybody with an ounce of love for the English language.
“Right-to-work” is union-busting short and simple… the organized labor equivalent of the tragedy of the commons. When individual workers can enjoy the benefits of a union contract, yet are given the “right” to choose whether to pay union dues, individual self-interest guides many to opt out, eventually defunding and decertifying the union as membership declines. It is like a bridge whose maintenance is paid for by an optional toll; does anybody believe it would not eventually collapse out of disrepair?
This is not only exactly what has happened in states that have enacted so-called “right-to-work” legislation, it is also the exact purpose of the legislation… long a part of a Republican strategy to defund the Democratic Party by destroying one of its most powerful political allies. It is also integral to a corporate strategy that seeks to compete with low-cost manufacturers abroad, by creating a low-wage, no-benefit workforce at home.
The BIAW’s Tom McCabe claims a right-to-work initiative would be retaliation for Democratic efforts to fix workers compensation, preventing the BIAW from using premiums as a cash cow for funding conservative politicians and causes:
“They’ve thrown down the gantlet, and we have to respond.”
That’s not only childish, but a complete and utter load of crap. The BIAW has been threatening this initiative for years, and if anything, Labor’s unsuccessful effort to undercut BIAW funding was a preemptive strike. McCabe and the BIAW will stop at nothing to achieve their political goals, and it would be suicidal for Labor if they failed to provide an equally strident opposition.
Just as much a load of bullshit are protestations from business leaders that mandatory union dues “violate individual workers’ rights and give unions unfair advantages in the workplace and in politics.” That’s right… they say they’re doing this for the workers. And unions have an unfair political advantage? Gimme a break! As the Times also reports today, business is doing just fine for itself in the political arena, thank you very much.
Fortune 500 companies that invested millions of dollars in electing Republicans are emerging as the earliest beneficiaries of a government controlled by President Bush and the largest GOP House and Senate majority in a half-century.
What the fucking bastards at the BIAW really want is to eliminate Labor’s counter-balance on business’s otherwise unchecked power in the workplace, and in politics. To pretend for a nanosecond that right-to-work is about workers’ rights to anything, is a cruel, underhanded joke. Business leaders have a fiduciary responsibility to serve the interests of their shareholders… not their customers, not their communities, and certainly not their workers… and without organized labor around to create some sort of balance of power, we’ll all soon be obediently working for Wal-Mart wages… or else.
What does the BIAW want in return for the millions of workers comp dollars it spends on behalf of right-wing politicians and causes? Cheap unregulated workers to build cheap unregulated houses… and then tort reform to prevent homeowners from suing them for the resulting shoddy workmanship. These are greedy, selfish, self-righteous, fucking bastards. And while I’ve never been a member of a union myself, I promise you that if the BIAW ever runs their union-busting initiative, I’ll be out there on the streets, side by side with Labor, shadowing the BIAW’s paid signature gatherers, and picketing the businesses who contribute to their sham campaign.
[Editor’s Note: for those of you offended by my foul language, please address your complaints to the BIAW’s potty-mouthed spokesperson, Erin “fuck you” Shannon.]