imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Bush Outrage(s) of the Month list

by Fred Gaboury Saturday, Mar. 08, 2003 at 11:07 AM 212-924-2523 235 W 23st., NYC 10011

(see related story below) As part of its campaign to put a four-year limit on George W. Bush’s tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the AFL-CIO has drawn up what might be called the “Outrage of the Month” list of attacks against working people by the Bush administration since taking office in January 2001.

(see related story below)

As part of its campaign to put a four-year limit on George W. Bush’s tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the AFL-CIO has drawn up what might be called the “Outrage of the Month” list of attacks against working people by the Bush administration since taking office in January 2001.

The list begins with the three executive orders issued in February 2001 that ended labor-management partnerships in the federal sector of the economy; barred project labor agreements on federally-funded public works projects; and required federal contractors to post notices advising workers of their right not to join a union.

The timing of these orders, coming only days after Labor Secretary Elaine Chao’s first appearance before the 54-member AFL-CIO Executive Council, was a veiled warning of the bitter events that were to follow. In a statement that accompanied release of the list, the AFL-CIO said although it found the administration’s repeated siding with business interests “disappointing,” they did not consider them “surprising,” given the animus of an administration firmly committed to a “pro-business, anti-regulatory ideology and agenda.”

However, the statement added, “many of the initiatives go well beyond simply favoring business over workers and have specifically targeted unions, unionized employees and the processes of organizing and bargaining in an effort to undermine unions and their capability to represent workers.”

v Although the Bush administration’s attack is many faceted, the Outrage of the Month list begins with the federal budget for fiscal year 2004 that Bush submitted to Congress on Feb. 3. In it are cuts in funding for the Labor Department to levels 6.5 percent below spending for FY 2002. Worker protection and international labor programs are cut significantly while, at the same time, the department seeks an increase to pay for 75 additional full-time staff within the Office of Labor Management Standards and 20 more in the Office of Inspector General to monitor and investigate unions and what it called “labor racketeering.”

v The Labor Department is so sure the additional funding will be forthcoming that it has proposed extensive new financial reporting and disclosure requirements under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act for national and local unions. (The reports, often referred to as LM-2 reports, are mandated by the Landrum Griffin Act of the 1950s.) These revisions are exceedingly complicated, requiring itemized listing of all expenses in excess of ,500 with compliance costs for unions estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars annually. They also offer new opportunities for the department to find technical violations of the reporting requirements and, possibly violations that carry with them criminal charges.

v Never one to be bothered by the niceties of due process or the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government, George W. Bush has signed a series of executive orders that include attacks on collective bargaining rights on government employees and workers in the airline industry. These are listed in the Outrage of the Month.

v But the most vicious attack was levied against members of the West Coast dockworkers, when, Bush directed the Department of Justice to seek a Taft-Hartley injunction to end the 11-day shutdown of the West Coast docks. The was the first time the Taft-Hartley Act had been invoked since 1978 and the first time ever that a president allowed an employer to lock out workers in an attempt to undermine a union and then reward the employer with a court-ordered governmental intervention. The president’s action, rationalized publicly as necessary to ward off economic damage, was simply the culmination of earlier threats by the administration to intervene in the negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.

v The Bush administration has regularly sought to undermine collective bargaining for airline employees and has sought to restructure employment relations in the industry to undermine union rights and benefits. It used brutal force when, in December 2001, it set up a Presidential Emergency Board that imposed a 60-day bar on a job action by 15,000 members of the Machinists Union at United Airlines. Earlier, in June 2001 it threatened 23,000 flight attendants at American Airlines with similar action, effectively undercutting that union’s negotiating power.

v The Bush administration has been particularly vindictive when it comes to union rights of federal employees. Barely a month ago it terminated the collective bargaining rights of more than 1,300 workers at the National Imagery and Mapping, invoking the 9/11 terrorist attacks as the reason for curtailing workers rights.

v The new year had barely begun when the administration issued a directive denying collective bargaining rights to the 60,000 newly federalized airline security screeners. And here again, as has become all too typical, the administration resorted to the war against terrorism to rationalize this denial of workplace rights, contending that collective bargaining is incompatible with national security.

v A year earlier, the White House issued an executive order revoking union representation for employees working in certain subdivisions of the Department of Justice. The broad order eliminated collective bargaining protections for all workers in the affected divisions, regardless of whether or not their work had anything to do with national security.

v Nor should we forget that Bush used the threat of a veto to force Congress to deny the protection of a union to more than 170,000 employees of the Department of Homeland Security.

The administration has used other ways to undermine the power and influence of the labor movement, among them in appointments to advisory boards of federal agencies dealing with issues such as occupational safety and health, international trade and ergonomics.

v Last December Bush reversed 30 years of practice when he closed the nomination process for the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health and appointed three new members. Ever since the committee was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 197, nominations have been open to the public to insure representation by a wide range of groups – representation that has always included the AFL-CIO health and safety director. However, that changed and the AFL-CIO is no longer on the committee nor are four other former members, including representatives from the Steelworkers Union.

v That same month Bush nominated 32 persons to serve on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Contrary to explicit requirements of the 1974 law creating the panel, President Bush did not include a single representative from labor, environmental or consumer groups among the nominees. Instead, he included major GOP campaign donors, free trade theologians and a few people with close ties to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick. Only after the AFL-CIO sued to enforce the law’s requirements did the administration appoint Teamster President James P. Hoffa to the committee.

v Now, for the first time in the 32-year history of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a workplace safety advisory committee does not contain an equal number of union and management representatives. Two union safety staff members were appointed, compared with seven from management. Many of the corporations tapped to serve on the advisory board opposed creation of a federal ergonomic standard and were instrumental in the law’s repeal when Bush took control of the government.

One of the administration’s first acts after taking control was to secure Congressional repeal of the Department of Labor’s ergonomic standards. Nearly a year later, the White House announced a new ergonomics program based on industry-specific voluntary guidelines. The administration has now entered into or is developing ergonomics partnership agreements with employers, trade associations and professional groups representing a number of industries. Notwithstanding union’s unique role and specialized safety and health expertise, the Labor Department has not included unions in any of these partnerships.

* Then, to add insult to injury, the administration announced formation of a national advisory committee on Dec. 4, 2002. The committee was established to “study” causes and methods to prevent workplace ergonomic injuries that hurt some 1.8 million workers annually – and this after the question had been studied to death before President Clinton issued guidelines dealing with the issue in the waning days of his administration.

Nor does the list end there.

* In early June of this year, Bush issued an executive order stripping the national air traffic control system of its designation as an “inherently governmental” function. The effect of this action is to open the door to privatization, in this way threatening the representation and bargaining rights of 15,000 controllers.

* In February 2002, the administration tried to force Amtrak to agree to contracting out of jobs and modifying its collective bargaining agreements as a condition federal financial assistance. Although that effort failed, the administration will, beyond a doubt “revisit” the question.

* In April 2002 the Department of Labor began posting the LM-2 reports of unions on its website. These reports contain extensive information about union finances as well as salary information for employees of unions.

* In April 2001, the Labor Department rescinded strict reporting requirements imposed on union-busting consultants and attorneys by President Clinton’s Labor Department.

* In March 2001, during debate on campaign finance reform, Bush called for a “paycheck deception” provision to restrict legislative and political activity by unions. He has repeated that demand on many occasions and Congress has so far refused to go along.

* Despite the fact that it had no authority in the matter, Bush’s Office of Management and Budget blocked implementation of a collective bargaining agreement between the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees and the Federal Aviation Administration despite the fact that Rodney Slater, former FAA secretary, had approved the agreement.

As Elaine Chao’s meeting with the AFL-CIO Executive Council on Feb. 26 showed, the Outrage of the Month list is clearly a work-in-progress.

The author can be reached at

* * * * * *

Labor Secretary to AFL-CIO: Was it arrogance or intimidation? Roberta Wood

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Was it arrogance or intimidation? As the Bush administration’s Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao packed her briefcase for her courtesy appearance at the annual AFL-CIO Executive Council, here, Feb. 26, it wasn’t Department of Labor (DOL) coffee mugs or ballpoint pens she tucked inside. And it certainly wasn’t certificates of appreciation for the elected leaders of 13 million American workers.

Labor leaders wanted to register with Chao their strong objections to the new, punitive, financial reporting requirements being implemented by the DOL. When Machinist Union president Tom Buffenbarger protested the impossibly complex requirements, he was the first to see what Chao came packing. Sec. Chao whipped out a detailed dossier on every case of alleged malfeasance her investigators could find against the 750,000-member Machinists union. She didn’t mention that most of the cases had been exposed and were being dealt with by the union itself. However, Chao did make it clear that she had a similar file waiting in the bag for every union in the room.

AFL-CIO president John Sweeney characterized the session with Chao as “unbelievable.” He said, “She was angry at points, insulting at points … In all my years, I never saw a Secretary of Labor so anti-labor.”

Bruce Raynor, president of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees (UNITE!) said, “It seemed like a clear attempt at intimidation.”

Teachers union President, Sandra Feldman, said, “We’re facing rising health care costs, layoffs, companies going bankrupt, people losing retiree benefits … it’s upsetting that … this huge book … was the main thing she came here with.”

Recent financial practice scandals have involved giant corporations like Enron, not the AFL-CIO. In fact, the labor federation went to court to fight for the Enron workers who lost jobs and pensions. Union leaders noted, however, that the administration displays little enthusiasm for corporate regulation while saddling the unions, at every level from the smallest local on up, with a bookkeeping nightmare that will eat up their resources.

One observer from the Sheet Metal Workers remarked that the Bush administration’s attitude was harkening back to the McCarthy attitudes of 1951. “Our union supports many moderate Republicans and they have played an important role in looking out for our members,” said Vincent Panvini, Director of Governmental Affairs for the SMWIA. “But how can we work with this kind of treatment?”

Whether it’s arrogance or intimidation, intended or not, this administration’s attack dog tactics may be having the unintended effect of building labor’s unity. “It’s strengthening our resolve,” said Sweeney.

And maybe Panvini, who certainly knows his sheet metal, was thinking of the 800-degree treatment given to steel to strengthen it for heavy-duty service when he described a change he sees in the labor movement. “Galvanizing,” Panvini said with a smile, “George Bush is galvanizing the labor movement.”

The author can be reached at


Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Lying down with dogs mymicz Saturday, Mar. 08, 2003 at 11:50 AM
Mr. James Robinson Saturday, Mar. 08, 2003 at 11:58 AM
James, James, James hazard Saturday, Mar. 08, 2003 at 3:03 PM
labor, worker, paying bills.... Elaine Chao is the Heritage Foundation Sunday, Mar. 09, 2003 at 8:33 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy