A Message from Bernie Sanders

A Message from Bernie Sanders after his stand with Verizon Workers:

“Yesterday the CEO of Verizon said that I was “contemptible.” He doesn’t like that yesterday I walked the picket line with striking Verizon workers, or that I think Verizon needs to pay its fair share in taxes.

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“Verizon’s attack reminded me of what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in New York City in 1936:

‘We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

‘They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

‘Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.’

“Like FDR, I welcome the contempt of Verizon’s CEO. I welcome the hatred and contempt of every Wall Street banker, hedge fund manager, pharmaceutical lobbyist and fracking executive trying to stop our campaign.”

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Ensuring Transparency in Reporting For Employer and Labor Relations: The “Persuader Rule”

You’ve probably watched one before.

An anti-union video so painfully corny, you probably had to turn it off after a few seconds.

Anti-union videos — like this one from Target — fliers and other materials are the bread and butter of consulting firms who specialize in “union avoidance.” A nefarious industry that steps in for employers and attempts to squelch working people’s right to a union voice on the job.

Thanks to a new transparency rule released by the Department of Labor called the “persuader rule.”

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The “Persuader Rule” Defined
Some employers hire labor relations consultants to develop and implement their message in union organizing campaigns. Workers need to understand the source of the views, materials, and policies that are being used to influence their decisions so they can make the best, informed decisions about whether or not to be represented by a union or support its collective bargaining positions. That’s where the Persuader Final Rule comes in, realigning the Department’s regulations with the text of a law passed by Congress, the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA).

This Final Rule requires that employers and the consultants they hire file reports not only for direct persuader activities – consultants talking to workers – but also for indirect persuader activities – consultants scripting what managers and supervisors say to workers. Workers often don’t know that their employer hired a consultant to manage its message in union organizing campaigns, including by scripting speeches by managers, talking points, letters, and other documents. Consultants may also direct supervisors to express specific viewpoints that don’t match those supervisors’ actual views as individuals – something workers may find relevant in assessing the information they receive from their supervisors.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka weighed in on the new rule:

“It takes great courage for working people to come together to form a union. Working men and women deserve to know who their employer is hiring and exactly how much they are spending to discourage workers from forming a union.”

Ultimately, employees deserve to know whether third-party union busters are being employed to influence their decision about forming a union with their co-workers and there needs to be assurance that employees are given more information about the source of the campaign material that helps them make a more informed choice in exercising their rights. Thanks to the “Persuader Rule” American workers now have that transparency.

Elizabeth Warren Skewers Federal Reserve Regulator Who Played “Pivotal” Role in 2008 Financial Crisis

This video of Elizabeth Warren ‘roasting’ a bank regulator who refused to regulate responsibly has been viewed over 1.8 million times — in just 3 days.

On April 5th, Republicans tried to use their Senate Banking Committee hearing to show that regulating banks costs too much. Elizabeth Warren turned that on its head, opening her questions saying, “I want to focus on the other side of the equation, and that is the cost to American families of failing to regulate.”

Nor would she stand for ‘tenure defenders.’

“Did you have your eyes stitched closed?” she asks Leonard Chanin, Republicans’ lead witness and former Deputy Director of the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve Board in response to his dogged refusal there was any hard data available prior to regulation failures that led to the economic collapse of 2008.

A ‘prime example’ of the hands-off regulatory approach that may lead to the next.

“You did essentially nothing,” Warren told Chanin, who has since left the Federal Reserve to work for a private law firm advising big banks. “Now, your failure had devastating consequences.”