01 December 2022

Scandalous failure (updated)

The Senate has failed to pass the proposal to add paid sick leave to the contract being imposed on American rail workers (see yesterday's post for background).  Only six Republican senators voted for the provision; forty-two Republicans plus Joe Manchin, stabbing American workers in the back and acting as craven toadies to the railway companies and the hedge funds that own most of them, voted against requiring this bare-minimum benefit which would have cost the parasites a mere two percent of their obscene profits.

As far as I have seen, the fake-pro-labor Biden administration never lifted a finger to fight for the sick-leave addition.  The administration sent out Pete Buttigieg to deliver its craven, cowardly evasions -- yes, the union leaders agreed to the original contract, but the members of four unions voted to reject it.

I've been critical of Bernie Sanders and the progressive wing of the Democrats on various grounds, but in this defining moment of the Biden presidency, it was they who did try to save the soul of the party, fighting hard for the paid-leave provision which most Democrats ultimately supported.

As an aside, I've been shocked by how little attention this critical fight has gotten from most of the left-wing internet.  If the left can't drop everything else for the moment and come together for something like this, then there is no "left" worthy of the name.

The Senate did comfortably pass the main legislation forcing railway workers to accept the original, shitty contract with no paid sick leave.  This does not mean, of course, that the rail strike everyone is dreading will be averted.  It merely means that if such a strike happens, it will be illegal, which may not matter very much to the workers whom the government has just betrayed.  You can only push people so far.  The brave rebellions we're seeing by the Iranian and Chinese peoples are also "illegal" according to the laws of their rulers.

The Senate has now left for a long weekend and will not return until Monday afternoon.  Unlike the railway workers whom they just voted to force to come to work sick, their own access to civilized working conditions is safe.

Update:  Some are now claiming that Biden could guarantee the paid leave with an executive order.  But will he?


Anonymous spirilis said...

It is written right there on the cover of the Guide! "Don't Panic"
My first motorcycle was a 305 Honda. The sign at the the shop door read: "Labor $3/hr You watch $6/hr You help $9/hr" You're running up the tab. Also what a great test for the country as a whole! We will have at least 3mo to prep for when they "cave" on the debt limit. And it isn't Biden's monkey(Quin Caylor) it's the Unions. 3000 engineers show up at the local jail with their families and tell the union cops they ain't going to work.

02 December, 2022 03:59  
Anonymous NickM said...

Will Biden use an executive order for that? No way.

02 December, 2022 06:08  
Blogger SickoRicko said...

Unfortunately, I feel both parties are owned by the oligarchs. Sick leave should be a right.

02 December, 2022 10:40  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

They may end up having to strike for it -- law or no law.

02 December, 2022 23:48  
Anonymous spirilis said...

"hedge fund guys" Who the heck are they? Name some names, interview a grandma that they gave the boot to, there is always one. We have a week or the rail workers are going to shoulder all the blame.

03 December, 2022 07:08  
Anonymous spirilis said...

Someone has shorted railroad stocks and some other key corporations which will be impacted harder than others. Bad news for ordinary people is always good news to hedge-funders

03 December, 2022 09:13  

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