Expanded from the 5-15-2005 Daily
Sparks (Nev.) Tribune.
(What better date than 5-15 to trash $5.15?)
5-20-2005 Comstock Chronicle
UPDATED 4-13-2006 and 5-13-2007
Attention all you conservatives who retch at the thought of private property being confiscated under color of government authority.
Here's your chance to put your mouths where the money is, an opportunity to stop a ripoff of Nevada workers' wallets which has been going on for more than half a century.
The reactionary anti-Roosevelt congress of 1947 passed the Taft-Hartley Act over President Harry Truman's veto. (That's the same Republican gang which killed Truman's proposal for national health care. They succumbed to the American Medical Association's smear that it constituted creeping communism. As a result, 47 million American anti-communists today have no health insurance.)
The senate committee took no action on the bill at its May 17 hearing. A work session is scheduled for Friday, May 20. Contact your representatives.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
National Right-to-Work-for-Less Committee stages last-minute attack with misleading information. Nice to see the swine sweat.
PREDICTABLE PUNCHOUT The four Republicans on the senate commerce and labor committee killed the bill along party lines. A measure to raise the state's meager minimum wage also failed due to the usual consummately conservative contempt for the least among us.
Turn on, tune in and tell a friend!
The Taft-Hartley Act was (and remains) a dagger aimed at the heart of trade unionism. The right to freely form unions had only come into being in 1935. Taft-Hartley enabled 22 states to pass freeloader laws which allow workers enjoying the benefits and representation of a union contract the option of paying nothing for the service.
Countless commentators and economists have found that one of the reasons for the slump in U.S. wages has been the weakening of unions since Taft-Hartley's passage. For every 10 percent increase in a community's union membership, paychecks of all other workers rise about five percent. Weaker unions mean weaker wages for everybody.
Only the 1970s emergence of the working wife has saved our shrinking middle class from extinction.
Well, here's a chance to strike a blow for traditional family values: Assembly Bill 69.
Co-sponsored by Sparks Democrats Bernie Anderson and Debbie Smith, the bill sailed through the lower house UNANIMOUSLY, 42-0. Some of the most conservative Republicans in the state voted for it. The idea of forcing union members to pay dues to subsidize freeloaders must have struck them as wrong.
The bill will not force anyone to contribute to political campaigns. If a non-union member requests and receives union services, he or she pays for them, just like drycleaning or a car wash. The Nevada Supreme Court ordered such fairness for public employees in 2000.
AB 69 will be heard before the commerce and labor committee chaired by Sen. Randolph Townsend, R-Reno, the only northerner on the panel. Surprisingly, while Democrats are outnumbered 4-3, there is a chance the committee will send the bill to the senate floor.
Contact your lawmakers and ask your friends and relatives to do the same. It will put money in your pocket.
CECIL B. DE-MIL. Struggling Hawthorne faces economic collapse with the announced closure of its ammunition and weapons facility. There is every reason to keep the place open. For decades, it has been the military's major facility for dismantling ("de-militarizing") unstable, old ammunition. Hence the term "de-mil."
Blowing up old ammo often does not explode everything and heavily pollutes the environment. The Hawthorne DeMil has been a testament to military intelligence. In the early 1980's, millions were spent building it, a grand opening was held, then it was closed the very next day!
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has always won in Mineral County because he has been protective of those very necessary jobs for more than 30 years. Reid got former Congressman James Bilbray, D-Las Vegas, appointed to the federal base closure commission, so there will be some sensitivity to Nevada issues as this matter progresses. Tell your representatives to fight for Hawthorne.
ADIOS. Miguel Contreras, 52, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor since 1996, died of a heart attack May 6. Contreras served as business manager of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 86 in Reno before relocating to southern California.
Dan Rusnak, retired business manager of Laborers' Union Local 169, said "Miguel was responsible for borrowing United Farmer Workers President César Chávez from the 1986 International Association of Machinists conclave so that we could hold our Reno rally in support of the United Farm Workers union."
That event resulted in the establishment of an annual César Chávez Day celebration in Sparks and Reno.
Roberts film wins good reviews
San Francisco Just three days after reversing its own three-judge panel, the Ninth Circuit has fast-tracked Darlene Jespersen's en banc hearing. A full court of 11 judges will hear arguments in The City on June 22, 2005. Keep an eye on this website for updates.
Be well. Raise hell.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL is the title of a documentary now in production from director Darryl Roberts. He'll be in town this week to interview former Harrah's bartender Darlene Jespersen, who was fired after two decades of exemplary service for refusing to wear more than base makeup. The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed Jespersen's legal team a major victory on Friday the 13th, reversing a 2-1 dismissal of her case and ordering a hearing before a bench of 11 blackrobes.
The film asks "does America have an unhealthy obsession with beauty?" Some of those already interviewed include Jessica Simpson, Wycliffe Jean and a fully dressed Paris Hilton.
I want to provide Roberts with additional horror stories. For instance, I know a cocktail server who is investing in tax deductible breast implants as a career enhancer. At the opposite extreme of her body, she also suffers from increasing foot maladies from being forced to wear high heels. I'm in the phone book, but I'd prefer an e-mail description of your case.
Remember, I need pain.
CORRECTION: I quoted the wrong Harper's Magazine writer in print editions of last week's column. The comments came from Chris Hedges' May article entitled "Feeling the Hate with the National Religious Broadcasters."
Be well. Raise hell.
(What better date than 5-15 to trash $5.15?)
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NEVADA STATE SENATE CONTACT INFORMATION
Boldface Red indicates members of the Commerce and Labor Committee which will hear AB 69 on Tuesday, 17 May 2005, at the unholy hour of 7:00 a.m.
Mark Amodei, R-Carson City/Lyon/Storey/Washoe
Bob Beers, R, Clark District 6
Barbara Cegavske, R, Clark District 8
Warren B. Hardy, R, Clark District 12
Joe Heck, R, Clark District 5
William J. Raggio, R, Washoe District 3
Dean A. Rhoads, R
Northern Nevada Senatorial District
Sandra Tiffany, R, Clark District 5
Randolph J. Townsend, R, Washoe District 4
Maurice Washington, R-Sparks
Mike McGinness, R-Fallon/Central Nevada
Dennis Nolan, R, Clark 9
Terry Care, D, Clark District 7
Maggie Carlton, D, Clark District 2
Bob Coffin, D, Clark District 10
Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas
John Lee, D, Clark District 1
Bernice Mathews, D, Washoe District 1
Michael Schneider, D, Clark District 11
Dina Titus, D, Clark District 7
Valerie Wiener, D, Clark District 3
Additional legislative contact information
General Legislative Phone Numbers
Northern Nevada 1-775-684-6789, 1-775-684-6800
Southern Nevada 1-702-486-2626
Statewide Toll Free 1-800-978-2878 OR 1-800-995-9080 or 1-800-992-0973
Nevada Senate 1-775-684-6500
Nevada Assembly 1-775-684-8533
By U.S. Mail:
401 S. Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701-4747
555 E. Washington Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
General Delivery E-Mail:
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Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 36-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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