Dissent Can Cost You Your Job

When the public isn’t paying attention, they get screwed. This blow to free-speech and workers’ rights comes courtesy of the National Labor Relations Board.

An overlooked order by the Labor Board’s lead lawyer this summer dealt a serious blow to the rights of US workers to protest government policies.

On May Day 2006, hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers walked off their jobs to protest restrictive immigration legislation. Some were fired, and brought complaints to the board. Ronald Meisburg, the National Labor Relations Board general counsel, responded by posting a directive on “political advocacy” this July that enables bosses to immediately fire employees who participate in work stoppages of a political nature.

The directive, as yet apparently unnoticed by both unions and labor lawyers, cannot be appealed.

Traditionally, workers around the world have used two kinds of walkouts to achieve their goals, economic strikes over workplace issues and political strikes directed at government policies.

by Robert Schwartz at Counterpunch: NLRB Limits Political Strikes

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