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February 25, 2005

Even DOL's Defense of Wal-Mart Deal is Anti-Worker

Bush officials are so anti-worker that even when they defend the Wal-Mart deal under fire, they expose their pro-corporate agenda. In comments, flygal found compelling this oped in the Miami Herald by Victoria Lipnic, who heads the Employment Standards Administration in the Bush DOL. But instead of giving an example of other companies with the same deal -- which she can't since the Wal-Mart details are far sweeter -- the Bush official instead "pivots" and uses the platform for a not-so-subtle attack on labor unions:

Most employers -- and unions -- are given advance notice of an inquiry so that they can assemble the necessary documents and personnel for review.

Even with complaint-driven audits of union finances, for example, it is not unusual for a large union to be given 30 days or more to prepare. This isn't for the benefit of the employer or union but to help our investigators do their work.

It's the nice rhetorical game of comparing investigations of Wal-Mart letting children play with chainsaws as morally equivalent to financial audits of unions. But of course, the Bush administration is more interested in auditing unions than investigating companies like Wal-Mart. As this anti-union organization celebrates, the Bush budget reflects this bias:
While the Dept. of Labor's overall budget is decreased by 4.4 pct. from FY 2005, the U.S. Office of Labor-Mgmt. Standards includes an increase of $7 million to fight fraud and corruption in labor unions. Money would be used to beef up audits, help hire 48 new auditors, and investigate and combat embezzlement of union funds.
The Bush DOL couldn't be clearer, in both their rhetoric and their budget, that they don't care about violations of the law by big corporations. They want to turn the Department of Labor into a police unit to break unions, even as they give companies like Wal-Mart a free pass. What's amazing is that even when caught at their game, as with the Wal-Mart deal, they can't play down their anti-worker rhetoric even for a second.

Posted by Nathan at February 25, 2005 09:06 AM