Posts Tagged ‘labor dispute’

Celebrity Lobbyist Alert: Tom Morello

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 by Vbhotla

Rage Against the Machine’s lead guitarist is getting into labor advocacy with the release of a solo CD, “Union Town,” an eight song debut effort, which includes three original tracks.  Morello, who has been active in pro-labor events across the nation, drew inspiration from the CD from the recent union protests in Wisconsin, and the album’s proceeds will benefit the America Votes Labor Unity Fund.

TomMorello performs at a pro-labor rally in L.A. in March (image from Flickr).

In an interview with Politico‘s Chris Frates, Morello said that he hopes the CD will help spark a debate and fuel the labor movement, “steel the backbone of an emerging labor movement with the kind of teeth that can really stand up to working class rights in this country.”

He hopes that the recent rallies in Madison and across the country will lead to a resurgence in activity around the issue.  “My hope is to encourage the labor movement to not become diluted by politics as usual. This is a chance to not just stop some bad legislation but to really Buy Cialis put some wind in the sails of progressive working class issues and to take back the populist narrative from the misappropriation by the tea party,” he said.

Morello, a Harvad grad who studied political science and worked on the Hill for a short period of time, once considered a career in politics.  He told Frates this anecdote about the end of his political ambitions:

“The reason why I chose a career in music instead of politics, I’ll tell you a quick story that illuminates that. I was working for a senator and one day this woman called up and she had a complaint that there were Mexicans moving into her neighborhood. And I, thinking I was standing up for all the things that Sen. (Alan) Cranston stood for, I said, ‘Ma’am you’re a racist and you can go to hell.’ And the next two weeks I got yelled at by everybody up and down the political food chain. And it was crystal clear to me at that moment if I couldn’t tell a racist to go to hell, that I was in the wrong business.”

NFLPA takes fight to Congress

Monday, January 17th, 2011 by Vbhotla

Even in the midst of the playoffs, when fans may not be concentrating on the NFL’s failure to reach a collective bargaining agreement, the NFL Players’ Association has sought to urge Congress to force team owners to act before March 3.  Between 2008, when league officials decided not to extend the current agreement, and 2010, when the agreement actually expired, the NFLPA tripled its lobbying spending over the years before.

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth told Politico that players need to “level the playing field” before Congress, considering the league has had a strong lobbying presence on the Hill for years.  (For more on the NFL’s lobbying history, see lobbyists.info’s free white paper “Political Activity of the National Football League.”)  He argues that if there is a lockout next season, he, along with his wife and newborn child, would be left without health insurance.

Players contend that Congress can exercise its oversight authority to force the league, which has been granted an antitrust exemption, to force the league’s hand, though Congress traditionally has stayed out of labor fights.  House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lavar Smith (R-Tx.) says the committee does not have any hearings scheduled, and the chairman does not seem interested in the dispute.

“The NFL and NFLPA are literally and figuratively big boys.  They do not need Congress’s help to referee every business dispute.  That’s what courts and labor negotiation processes are for,” Smith told Politico.

Jeff Pash, the NFL’s chief negotiator, says he is frustrated with the NFLPA’s lack of effort at the negotiating table, stating that the players are spending much more time and energy in the media and on Capitol Hill than actually trying to work out a deal with owners.