Kentucky Local Right to Work Effort is a new front

In Warren County, Ky., a fiscal court has given preliminary approval to a local “right to work” for less ordinance. The measure is worded as to prevent any worker covered by the National Labor Relations Act from being required to join or pay dues to a union as a condition of employment. Since it is already illegal in the United States to require workers to join unions, the real focus of the measure is to weaken workers in negotiations with employers for decent wages and benefits. Instead of passing illegal ordinances that are a big waste of time and resources for the county, those efforts should be spent in other ways like focusing on raising wages for Warren County residents.

If you’re in Kentucky, call the fiscal court today and tell them you oppose the right to work ordinance: 1-855-721-3304. 

Here are seven specific ways that this measure would hurt workers in Warren County, most of which would apply to workers in other Kentucky locales (and elsewhere) if the process were repeated elsewhere: Continue reading

Employees at Koch-Owned Georgia-Pacific Can Now Tweet About Work Without Fear

By Mike Elk

A new ruling by the National Labor Relations Board has required Georgia-Pacific, whose Atlanta headquarters are pictured here, to rescind its restrictive social media policy. (atlexplorer / Flickr / Creative Commons)

A new ruling by the National Labor Relations Board has required Georgia-Pacific, whose Atlanta headquarters are pictured here, to rescind its restrictive social media policy. (atlexplorer / Flickr / Creative Commons)

In October 2012, In These Times revealed that the Koch brothers had instructed 45,000 employees of Georgia-Pacific, a paper company owned by Koch Industries, to vote for Mitt Romney in the upcoming presidential election. But even as the Kochs took advantage of expanded free speech rights for corporations under the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, Georgia-Pacific was busy circulating a strict policy that prohibited workers from speaking poorly of the company or its officers on social media. Thanks to a new decree by the National Labor Relations Board, however, employees can now feel free to post about their jobs to Facebook or Instagram without fear of retribution. Continue reading

Koch Brothers and U.S. Billionaires Pressuring Thousands of Employees to Vote For GOP

In These Times writer Mike Elk was interviewed earlier this week by Democracy Now about his article “Koch Sends Pro-Romney Mailing to 45,000 Employees While Stifling Workplace Political Speech

Here is how Elk introduces his article.

an In These Times investigation reveals that the billionaires have broken out another tactic to influence the 2012 elections: attempting to control their workers’ votes.

In a voter information packet obtained by In These Times, the Koch Industries corporate leadership informed tens of thousands of employees at its subsidiary, Georgia Pacific, that their livelihood could depend on the 2012 election and that the company supports Mitt Romney for president. The guide was similar to one the company distributed before the 2010 midterm elections, which Mark Ames and I [Mike Elk] reported on in The Nation last year.

We encourage Talking Union readers to read the entire article