tv The Big Picture RT September 22, 2017 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
a labor bill of rights last labor organizer and journalist sean richmond in just a moment and john mccain has officially come out against the gramm casti obamacare repeal bill will other republicans follow his lead last time kavanagh in valerie urban in just a moment. so one of the many and i repeat many challenges facing the american labor movement these days is the rise of so-called right to work laws on the books now in twenty eight states right to work laws try to bankrupt unions by forcing them to pay the legal fees and bargain costs of workers who are not union members basically legalize free loading we talked about this on yesterday's show a bit but there's a new bill backed by elizabeth warren another prominent democrats that would ban right to work laws in states for good unfortunately congress and the president need
to change before that bill can become a law and even then it will have a tough track but while we're on the topic what are some other ways we can roll back this is salt that we've seen over the last several decades on organized labor here to. help us work through this is sean richmond labor and labor organizer journalist and contributor to in these times has shown welcome to the show so in july for the century foundation you wrote a piece calling for a labor bill of rights and number seven on that bill of rights was the right to process dues which strikes right at the heart of right to work states go after this war and bill aside what needs to be done to protect this rights. so. right to work is essentially a carve out of federal labor law that lets states pass laws that forbid
unions and employers from voluntarily negotiating agency fee arrangements. so if that bill could pass if warren's bill could pass then right to work goes away. what i wrote about in the seventh of of the labor's bill of rights is a legal theory that's been developing recently comes out of the seven circuit federal courts. a judge by the name of diane wood sort of found it and it's basically it's going back to the passage of right to work in the first place which is in the taft hartly act of one thousand nine hundred seven. which allowed this carve out and part of the problem with that is the term right to work existed for decades and people used it to mean all kinds of things right people used it to mean what it sounds like it should mean like i have a right to a job and then it was also meant to be. by the right wing this sort of push you
shouldn't have to join a union in order to get a job which is a framework that existed in a lot of contracts largely in work forces where the union trains workers and certifies their ability to do the job and then says look when you're under contract with us you should only hire union members that have been trained and certified by the union so there's an argument that what congress meant to do in one thousand nine hundred seven was merely to outlaw arrangements where you had to be a dues paying union member before you even got hired and that it never countenanced the idea that you got hired into a job where the union is obligated to represent you and if the union in the employer could agree to to a sort of an. agency fear arrangement where you have to pay a fee if you decided not to join but you start to pay something for all of the resources that were being spent on your behalf it never actually considered any of that and by taking away that revenue stream
particularly these these newly passed right to work laws in states like michigan and wisconsin by suddenly just taking away unions fees while still obligating them to spend their own resources on representing members that it is a violation of the takings clause of the fifth amendment of the constitution i know that you know right to work well states try and combat right to work but have fees on people who don't want to be on the union like california there was recently a court case that was upheld thanks in part to the death of justice scalia have we seen legal challenges mounted from what you just described against these right to work laws we have so the california case refers to public sector where the laws are a little bit different we're not rich it's not the taft hartly act it's not the national labor relations act but. this case comes out of.
i want to say you know what one of the states wisconsin michigan and the seventh circuit covers all of these states where the tea party took over and just started passing anti union laws. and and the unions were filing cases saying like look they were making whatever argument they could largely i think the arguments were more equal protection based. that that this was a direct attack on unions that was clearly partisan in deep in nature. the argument that they came up by this by this federal judge she inserted pretty cleverly so it's the labor movement sort of asked to catch up to. this argument that this judge . raised and they have been i understand that there's a case that's been filed in idaho which which went right to work some time in the one nine hundred eighty s. . but it's largely untested and is going to work its way through the courts unlike
that california case that you're citing and it's illinois based sequel janus versus apps me where the entire purpose of the plaintiffs is to get to the supreme court as quickly as possible so what they do is they don't even make an argument they say rule against us so we can appeal rule against us so we can appeal the legal challenges against these right to work statutes are there actually trying to put a put an argument in foot in front of the judges and so it's going to work its way up through an appeals process. which was obviously more encouraging when judge diane wood made her decision and more encouraging when. after justice scalia died it looked like we might finally change the balance of the court but the arguments are still working their way through the federal courts what's interesting about the latest attempt to fight back against these right to work laws is that there's an international component to it now trump has called for renegotiating nafta we have
justin trudeau. canada saying ok well let's get rid of these right to work laws laws because it's an unfair labor advantage for the united states and i think that the you know you think of foreign car manufacturers and other european manufacturers now coming to the united states opening up plants they're not going to any state they're going to right to work states they're going to where wages are the lowest and how we've become this low wage labor nation for the developed world i mean as a as a labor organizer yourself isn't that just depressing. what part of that is depressing i mean i don't i'm not terribly fond of the idea that justin trudeau gets a neat headline for doing a cute thing that really is just you know it's just a headline there's no real meat behind it back when nafta was being negotiated it would have been nicer if canada had pressed harder on that issue it would've been
nicer if nafta was negotiated closer to the spirit of of the european union which did take into account not just tariffs and taxes but also took into account the different. worker protection standards of nations and try to equalize them not in a race to the bottom but actually in sort of rise to the higher standards that was not a part of the national after negotiations at all. while we're on the subject of international pressure i think it's should be noted that the international labor organization which is a treaty that's connected to the united nations that most nations are a part of the i.o.l. has also been on record for a number of years now as accusing the united states of being. a bit of abusing the human rights of its workers of just being of being a rogue nation when it comes to workers' rights and so all of that is actually
helpful i think because workers' rights are such a partisan issue in this country. if any state legislature gets a triple republican government they're going to pass right to work if they're not already right to work they're going to try to gut public sector union rights. as you noted warren's bill or any labor reform bill is a dead letter in the in congress unless you have a veto proof majority of democrats and a democratic president and even then you know all the takes is twisting a few arms of a couple of southern democratic senators and you can't get it through. so it's going to take everything we can potentially. maneuver and move into place to put pressure on our government to actually. respect and enforce workers' rights so the international pressure is helpful. to the extent that it gets covered by the
mainstream media i mean here you have you know you have nations allied nations pointing a finger at the u.s. and saying you guys are treating your workers like you would not accept any other country doing no you would accept this in a third world country but you're doing it to your own workers. and if the average american understood that i think that be a shocking fact i don't think that that tends to get through only pick up on something you mentioned about hey maybe if we had a democratic congress and a democratic president we could get something like warren's bill passed although you know we did have that and with in president obama's first two years he had pretty large majorities in congress and heading into those years there was a lot of noise for the employee free choice act you had a lot of democrats onboard with that comment co-sponsoring legislation and yet it didn't go anywhere in those two years how do you convince democrats that that labor is once again an issue worth committing to especially at a time of right to work state right to work laws proliferating that actually cut
into the funding of labor that help you know you know entice democrats to support that cause we've got just about a minute left sean. you're right and. fortunately i think it comes down to that self interest that is actually what i think we're going to see major movement at the federal level particularly now when you can't pass a bill i think i think that the race to two thousand and twenty is going to be a race to the left and you're going to see a lot of the presidential aspirants trying to stake out more left wing positions on what workers deserve and yeah look the republicans have understood in a way that the democrats have not for a long time that the unions keep republicans out of office i think that you have a lot of democrats after trump squeaked through in this election who who are suddenly having this crap moment and recognizing that fact and so you know that it's going to take a lot of pressure they're not going to do this out of the goodness of their heart
but i'll take self-preservation as a motivation i would hope to show in richmond labor organised a labor organizer contributed in these times magazine thank you so much for coming on the show. coming up graham cassidy is now hanging like a thread it will be the next republican to cut it loose big picture panel after the break. all the feelings of. every the world should experience. and you'll get it out of the old the old. the old according to just. world cup.
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and with me for tonight's panel are tim cavanaugh reporter for real clear investigations and valerie irvin senior adviser to the working families party thank you both for joining me i think let's get started arizona senator john mccain has announced that he cannot in good conscience vote for the gramm cassady obamacare repeal bill saying in a statement that he cannot support it without a c.b.s. score and that same statement mccain urged bipartisanship and said he would consider voting for the bill if it were brought up as part of regular order and not part of the budget reconciliation process republicans are using to force it through congress with a simple majority and zero public hearings so we've now reached a point with rand paul coming out against this bill john mccain coming out against this bill that of just one more republican comes out against it it's done we've got susan collins we've got lisa murkowski there was
a news yesterday that they're trying to entice murkowski out of this bill by excluding alaska from some of these painful spending cuts i don't see how this bill passes at this point what do you think it's gone from the dark horse last chance last ditch effort to you know now the outsider darkhorse last ditch last chance effort i don't think it ever had much chance of passing to begin with and. you know i share senator paul's reservations in addition to many of my own but i just we've known now for months that that was the. care act like all government programs is here for ever and never going away and of all the repeal efforts we've seen this was the worst one probably had been presented yeah i was scared to be honest with you and thank god for senator mccain for doing the right thing. i don't think he could've come back from where he was the last time around when he again appealed
for regular order in the senate and so he stayed where he was before so we're waiting on the two women senators who have been holding strong from the very very beginning of the debate around appealing appealing obamacare so i imagine that both those women senators or caskey in particular from alaska is going to be steadfast to where she was before and i'm wondering how hard lindsey graham took this near and sort of his best buddy john mccain joe you can't support this bill is this the end marcy any better things to think about we're already going what lindsey graham is going through but i have i have mental problems so i mean this is dead care mcconnell bring up another reconciliation resolution and try and push this thing again before the election origin's hold the chamber they can can is it worth continuing this fight though. doesn't appear to be but maybe you know maybe at some point will be the charm and that you know they're not in correct that this was a vast complex thing that you know was high enough to be
a child's high chair when you printed it out and so repealing it is not going to be easy and i think they could keep trying certainly doesn't seem to be a lot of momentum for it and as we all know it presidential administration momentum goes down and down and in their sort of last ditch effort to pass this thing we saw lindsey graham and others compare their bill to bernie sanders bill saying this is the choice we have at this point folks we have socialism over here or our bill graham cosseted over here i'm not sure that's the best strategy considering that you have the most popular politician in america bernie sanders who's been pushing single payer for two years and you actually have polling out of reflected that shows that upwards of sixty percent in fact more people support single payer then obamacare at this point including obama who yesterday gave a speech in every other industrial nation where there is national health care you know everybody says well what's going what's the big deal about all of this so he's now out there saying yeah of course i was just taking the first fake step and now
that we've really collapse the system we can have true revolution and single payer health care it's all good but i think the biggest winner was jimmy camel who really put this out there for the american public want think and like the way out what what the republicans are putting up you know i don't see the overnights. i know there's a people a lot on the left who would have wished president obama would have kind of come to this moment of supporting single payor a little earlier but i guess he probably is taking the first steps here tom price the charter flight scandal is only getting worse according to politico former georgia congressman turned health and human services secretary has flown on expensive private planes at least twenty four times since taking office a lifestyle choice that has cost taxpayers upwards of three hundred thousand dollars we now have an oversight official. looking into this this of course isn't the first time prices found himself in ethical hot water during his confirmation hearings it came out that during his time in congress he had traded stock in health
care companies at the same time he's working on legislation that affected the stock value and we have steve minucci in trying to charter a government plane on his honeymoon that didn't end up working out i mean is this a symptom of just having a bunch of billionaires in a cabinet so you have people who don't even want to fly commercially don't want to associate with the rest but i don't i don't want to fly commercially and i love being on a plane going somewhere i hate going through it and i thought in dealing with all of that stuff so look you think they're going to do you but give them trillion dollar budgets to control and then we expect to mind how well they spend pennies you have a problem with. you i would probably again i'm not going to defend tom price so let him you know deal with the shame that he has brought on his own head it's great the article that you guys sent along though he slams him because he wants to cut six billion dollars from the health and human services budget right i think health and human services should be abolished outright but i look at that and say well that's one hundred thousand times more than the sixty thousand he spent on the plane so
i'm still winning the price so i think i think it's more make you know parkers the argument which might not be the most convincing argument but it certainly would not expect hypocrisy when you give them a trillion dollar budget and then say you can't you know take a box of candy you have cost more i'm telling you what i'm going to war about it never thought i don't pay any of our fellows they would work for the american taxpayer they can't spend money like that they want to drain the swamp they bring in these guys and that are millionaires and they are you know they're they're using private jets on our dime and i don't know how man who can remember bill clinton two hundred dollars haircut do you not and dollars here track do you not care how how much it is in the treasury or how much money they manage that's beside the point they work for us you know i have. why is the larger amount of money beside the point the point that is the point the point that is where you're at where you're really amazing are you are by aid by parent like. the public but i think they're
both legitimate issues you can take offense with the cuts and that's the number one issue too there is a certain argument to be made about hypocrisy at these levels and i'm old enough to remember seasons old is there a poster i'm old enough to remember when fox news and republicans were trying to take down the obama administration over things like it is ours that they had in their cabinet or or some lavish party that the i.r.s. or somebody threw at some faraway place like this now they've gotten radio silence here let's the way it always is at least we agree that on that the divisions between the democratic party leadership and immigration activists erupted into the open this week when a group of dreamers interrupted a press conference held by house minority leader nancy pelosi who is dreamers who are protesting the possibility that an immigration deal between democrats and donald trump could result and ramped up ice raids and deportations and suppose he was visibly angry thanks. yes. yes
yes. thank you thank you you thank. so i want this is a tough question here because we have the dreamers who have kind of been left out hanging as a result of congress not doing anything for them throughout the obama years trump repealing this executive order that had protection for them so we have democrats trying to protect them but in protecting them they might be striking a deal that increases more border security has more raids and doesn't protect the families of these streamers so in a way you're forcing a lot of these people to choose between themselves and their and their families which is one reason why they seem so visibly upset here are democrats walking into sort of a third thorny issue here yeah i think that palosi and schumer made a really big mistake by not even sitting down and having the conversation with
representatives of the millions of people that are looking at deportation i think this is such an interesting story because the dreamers are just a subset of the problem that we have with with immigration democrats have no plan it's clear that palosi was visibly shaken by by this situation because they have not thought through how dealing with trump is only going to take care of a subset of the immigrants in the country that are you know it's a big problem with no real solution on either side so those are the concerns from the left not necessarily the democratic establishment which is going along trying to mancy who are making these deals with donald trump. is that trump aware that the dream act has a pathway to citizenship in these sort of things in it and is he really prepared to as. i can't speak for him what do you what are people like paul ryan supposed to
think when they see it when they see this sort of negotiations and they see it in charge unless you're going to do it on a friday evening the minute connel or well we're gonna try to show some we're going to pretend like we care you know i actually agree with valerie said i think there's you know the whole dream thing and what it's like basically every issue that we come on here and get all hot under the collar about it's a subset of a distraction it's a tiny small part of the problem and it's these things these like symbolic things that everybody gets exercised about and shows what their position is and all that kind of stuff now obviously you know you're not going to be a democrat from san francisco or new york and meet with donald trump president donald trump and not get some backlash from your base. do you think this could be the start of a fruitful relationship in the terms of chuck schumer being able to talk to donald trump a lot better than mitch mcconnell has been able to talk to him never met the president
in person but people who have say that he he gets more charming the more you talk to them so yeah quite possibly should this chuck and nancy do tread lightly as they move forward considering how we just talked about how this deal they're striking with trump might point you know leave dreamers hanging to dry here yeah i think in their rush to try to find any resolution where they look like they can win it's kind of scary and a little dangerous and i think that this is going to give them pause before they move forward with any more negotiations without having to talk to the people that are most impacted by it yeah it was only just i guess a few months ago time flies now with trump being president in which democrats are talking about opposing every single thing that comes forward similar what republicans have been doing and then just like that there's deals being made to having been thank you both for coming on the show thanks very much and that is the way it is tonight don't forget as tom always says democracy it's not
a spectator sport get out there get active tag you're it. i do not know if the russian state hacked into john podesta e-mails and gave them to wiki leaks but i do know rock obama's director of national intelligence has not provided read of it to support his claims of russia i also know he perjured himself in a senate hearing planned three months before the revelations provided by edwards he did not to be n.s.a. was carrying out wholesale surveillance of the u.s. . to hyperventilate. corporate media has once again proved to be an echo for government claims that cannot be verified you would have thought they would have learned something after serving as george w.
bush's useful idiots in the lead up to the invasion of iraq. it is vitally important that the press remains rooted in a fact based universe especially when we enter an era when truth and fiction are becoming indistinguishable. on larry king you are watching our america question and more. i'm a trial lawyer i've spent countless hours poring through documents that tell the story about the ugly side of. corporate media read used to talk about news current our news congress i'm going to paint a clear picture about how disturbing alcool drug corporate conduct has been in modern.