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Labor Attorney Irwin Aronson Discusses American Labor Laws and Workers' Rights on The Rick Smith Show

January 25, 2012

Radio talk show host Rick Smith interviewed Irwin W. Aronson, a partner and labor law attorney with Willig, Williams & Davidson, on the Jan. 25, 2012 edition of The Rick Smith Show. Aronson and Smith discussed the unfair, ineffective and arcane nature of current laws that permit bosses to fire people during a union organizing drive. The two further discussed how it can take as long as two to three years for the victims of these firings to get any dimension of justice while the remaining workers suffer and live in fear that they could be next.

Smith and Aronson explored the apparent agreement among the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, as well as the President's State of the Union Address and the Republican responder (outgoing Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels), in connection with the destruction of unions in this country. Aronson noted that there is currently a pattern that is very clear – look at the three states with the highest rates of unemployment: South Carolina, Nevada, and Florida. What's the pattern? All are states with no-rights-at-work laws, low union density and union-busting employers and their political supporters. Aronson also noted that the interview was taking place on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court approval in 1918 of yellow dog contracts, contracts in which a worker is forced to sign an agreement to not join a union as a condition of his or her employment.

Aronson compared this unfortunate chapter in American labor law to another anniversary last week – the one year anniversary of The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that designates corporations as "people" and gives them the right to spend unlimited money on their political campaign agendas and candidates. In Aronson’s view, both decisions, though 93 years apart, prove what happens when you concentrate so much power in the hands of so few people. According to Aronson, “We overturned yellow dog contracts by adopting federal laws to protect workers' rights.” To listen to the full interview, go to The Rick Smith Show.

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