Employee Rights Act doesn’t make ‘reactionary’ reforms

Professor John Logan criticizes as “reactionary” legislation the Employee Rights Act (“What to expect from labor policy in 2015,” The Hill’s Contributors Blog, Dec. 31). What the professor declines to mention is that all the provisions of this “reactionary” law receive majority support from union households — the exact same people whose interests he claims to be in touch with.

The law would guarantee every employee a secret-ballot vote when deciding whether to join a union. It would require labor unions to receive employees’ permission before spending their dues money on political causes and candidates they might not support. And it would criminalize aggressive union organizing tactics designed to intimidate people to join a union.

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The only thing surprising about these reforms is that they’re not law already.

Before further criticizing labor law reform that even union households support, Logan would do well to remember that “union rights” are not always synonymous with “employee rights.”

From Richard Berman, executive director at the Center for Union Facts, Washington, D.C.


Take a page from Rayburn’s playbook for better relations

This past summer I read a biography of Sam Rayburn, the legendary Democratic Speaker of the House. Rayburn was respected by all, for he was honest, fair, hard-working and knowledgeable. He maintained cordial relations with the Republican Minority Leader Joe Martin and did not regard the minority members as any less patriotic or concerned with America than his own caucus. 

One of the staples of the Rayburn modus operandi was to host a late-afternoon meeting in his office for an invitation-only group to discuss the day’s events and plan for the next day. 

It’s not a bad MO, and obviously better than the Beltway brawling that now characterizes relations between the parties. If Cuban cigars can help heal the rift between Democrats and Republicans, maybe something good will come of President Obama’s opening to Cuba.

From Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati 


United States taking risk with santions against nuclear Russia

These recent U.S. banking, financial and general economic sanctions against Russia are a mistake. These threatening actions by the United States will not be tolerated much longer by Russia’s government, nor by the proud Russian people.

And to those who have forgotten one simple fact: Russia continues to possess thousands of nuclear warheads as it remains positioned atop highly sophisticated operational intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the United States in 12 minutes.  

In this context, the U.S. must work in concert with Russia, not punish it during this perilously dangerous time when Russia is modernizing its nuclear and precision conventional weapons force structure under its revised strategic war doctrine.

From Earl Beal, Terre Haute, Ind. 

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