Do You Send Personal E-mails From Work? You're Fired!
Several weeks ago, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that employers could prohibit members of labor unions from using the company e-mail system for anything union-related.
This story barely made a blip on the news radar, since most people aren’t members of a labor union or planning to join one. This ruling only applies to those blue-collar shlubs who work with their hands. Who cares about them?
But now — uh oh! It seems this NLRB ruling might be expanded; it could be used against ALL employees. Some legal experts are saying that if an employer forbids use of company e-mail for labor unions, they’ll also have to forbid ALL non-work-related e-mails on company computers. You know, discrimination laws and all that. And now tens of millions of office workers are simultaneously thinking “Oh my God, this affects ME!”
Or to paraphrase that famous German quote: “When they came for the janitors I did nothing because I have a desk and a fancy job title…then when they came for me…”
As the name indicates, the National Labor Relations Board at one time actually defended workers against unfair labor practices. But that was then. Like every other agency in the Bush Administration, the NLRB is now stacked from top to bottom with incompetent cronies who hate everything the agency stands for.
In the same way that FEMA “helps” people whose homes have been devastated by a hurricane, the National Labor Relations Board “defends” workers who are being trampled by a powercrazed boss.
Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, said:
“The Bush labor board has consistently demonstrated hostility toward workers who want to unite for a voice in the workplace, so this latest brand of discrimination unfortunately comes as no surprise. We need a labor board that truly has an interest in the needs of working people, not one eager to assist those corporate interests bent on trying to intimidate or censor workers who want to form a union to improve their jobs and the services they provide. This ruling is another sad example of how the deck is stacked against workers in America.”
Some managers are using the tired argument that since they own the computer equipment, they can restrict how it’s used. Riiight. They also own the bathrooms, the cafeteria and vending machines and all of the chairs and desks. Oh, and the parking lot. They could have a field day.
cross-posted at Bring It On!