Obama Supports Republic Windows Workers Who Are Occupying Factory!
I didn't think he'd do it, but he did. I figured Obama would sit this one out. I mean, occupying a factory is illegal, at least formalistically. There could be a political downside. He didn't have to say anything. But I was wrong.
Obama Encourages Worker Protest At Chicago Factory
The protest, along with vocal support from President-elect Barack Obama, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, civil rights activists and others, has . . . created . . . a chance for unions that have been losing members and strength for years to show they still matter.
In any event, I confess myself exhilarated by having a president-elect who may be unafraid to recognize the existence of class conflict in America and who seems willing to put the power of the United States behind the victims of what in the 1930s would have been called capitalist exploitation (and today can be described perhaps as "the operation of impersonal economic forces").
After eight years of labour being exiled to the wilderness in favour of corporate hand-outs, it is a rather stunning to watch what's now unfolding in response: President-elect Barack Obama has publicly come out in unequivocal support of the workers . . . .
Change I Can Believe In
How nice is it to have a pro-labor president. . . I like it.
Now, here are Obama's specific comments on the situation:
When it comes to the situation here in Chicago with the workers who
are asking for their benefits and payments they have earned, I think
they are absolutely right . . . .
I think that these workers, if they have earned their benefits and their pay, then these companies need to follow through on those commitments.
Obama's statement is a straightforward, unassailable legal principle. No one can dispute that "if" workers are entitled to unpaid wages and benefits, then their employers should pay them. The Left, however, has read this as a progressive support of the sit-in, which he carefully avoids endorsing.
Obama only stated that he supports the workers demanding money to which they potentially are legally entitled. They could make this demand through litigation, an open-letter, or any number of means. Besides, the business is not operating at the site, and it has not complained about the presence of the workers. There is no issue of a work stoppage or slowdown. This is a unproblematic sit-in.
Obama also does not argue that Bank of America should pay the wages, which separates him from state and local politicians and the workers. Instead, he makes a generalized statement about ensuring that federal relief to lending institutions reach companies that need credit. My advice to the Left: Learn to read. . . between the lines.
Related Readings on Dissenting Justice:
* Laid-Off Republic Windows and Doors Workers: Pawns in Political Football
* Dodd's Discriminatory Bailout: "Regime Change" for Main Street, But Not for Wall Street?
* Factory Closes in Chicago; Workers Invoke Bailout During Protest
* Paulson, Geithner and Rubin: How the Big Three "Hooked Up" Citigroup
* Was GOP's Opposition to Bailout a Clever Ploy? Concessions for House Republicans Could Increase Budget Deficit, Make Plan More Expensive
* READING THE FINE PRINT: BAILOUT IS STILL A DEAL PRIMARILY FOR BANKERS
* Bringing Back Welfare As We Knew It: My Indignant Take on the Wall Street Bail-Out