Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Association of Washington Business Continues to Lie and Distort

"A level of despicableness beyond imagining"

Even as they celebrate their victory over workplace safety -- a campaign based on lies -- the Association of Washington Business (AWB) still can't seem to tell the truth.

Check out their post-election Press Release.

“We believe that employers and workers should address injuries related to ergonomics,” AWB President Don Brunell said. “Our problem is with L&I’s rules which were wide open to interpretation and which no one fully understood.”
No one? Well maybe not 53% of the voters who actually believed your distortions.
“While Gov. Locke provided a six-year phase-in period, the fundamental problem was with the ambiguity and sweeping impact of the rules themselves,” Brunell said. “There are extensive federal, state and local laws and rules on the books today which protect worker safety. Therefore, if someone is willfully violating laws or regulations, they will be penalized.”
Lies, lies, lies. There are no federal, state (with the exception of a weak California regulation) or local ergonomic laws or rules on the books. And they know they're lying.
By delaying the implementation of the rules as the Governor did, there were some questions about which rules could be enforced when it came to ergonomics and worker safety. AWB believes the passage of I-841 clarified that issue.
Bullshit. There was no question in anyones' mind except the ones you dishonestly planted there.
AWB also believes the passage of I-841 strengthened the court challenge the “We Care Coalition” filed to suspend the rules. We Care believed the regulatory process in which the rules were adopted was flawed. “We feel the courts now will have a clearer sense of the public’s mood toward the regulatory process and that will help employers, workers and citizens in general.”
Oh yeah, since when does any self- and law-respecting court base its decision on the public mood? If the U.S. Supreme Court had done that, Al Gore would be president today (and we'd still have a national ergonomics standard).
AWB is launching an ergonomics education effort through its foundation (Institute for Workforce Development and Sustainability) and scheduled its first Ergonomics Solutions Workshop for Nov. 20 in Olympia.
Yeah, and O.J. is hot on the trail of the real murderer.

Think I'm exagerating about their evilness? Judge for yourself. I received this note from a friend in Washington after the election:
Saturday before the election I was getting my hair cut. I asked the guy who cuts my hair if he had voted yet. When he said no, I asked him if he knew about the initiative related to ergonomics. He asked, "Oh, is that the one about kids' health insurance?" I thought I had heard him wrong, but as this was the only initiative on the ballot, I didn't pursue his confusion, and just launched into my discussion of what ergonomics is all about, what the rule did/didn't do, etc.

Much to my amazement, when I mentioned this to my husband, who had been sick one afternoon, came home early and watched the local evening news--that was the tag line on the TV ads!!!! The ad never explained how they reached that conclusion. (Presumably it was linked to the allegation that people would lose jobs due to the ergo rule, or maybe that the ergo rule would cost so much employers would no longer provide health insurance to employees.) The ad was full of cute kids swinging on swings, and there was apparently a banner at the bottom of the screen that warned voters that if they didn't repeal the ergo rule that thousands of kids in Washington state would lose their health insurance coverage! (Like anyone in the residential construction industry, which sponsored the initiative, provides any employee with health insurance....even if you were persuaded that the rule would put anyone out of business, which we all know it wouldn't have.)

It seems to me they have stooped to a level of despicableness that is beyond imagining.