Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Republicans Having Hard Time Selling Bush to Workers

I wonder why?

The LA Times helps count the ways

Well, first there’s overtime
Osvaldo Millet makes a good living — $43 an hour plus overtime — as a hospital pharmacist in Miami. The overtime pays for vacations and other extras for his family of five, but that money might disappear under a Bush administration initiative.


Millet, the Miami pharmacist, said the new overtime rules were a big topic of conversation around his office. He is paid an hourly wage, but worries that the new rules would allow his boss to ask for overtime work without offering overtime pay.

In Millet's case, that could mean a lost vote for Bush.

"The main salary is to cover the basics — food, clothing, school and the homestead, and now for gasoline," he said. "To lose the overtime, that'd definitely be a big deal."
Then there’s jobs
Jeff Deckard is a member of the National Rifle Assn. who voted for Ronald Reagan and isn't fond of the Democratic Party's more liberal views. But the Reynoldsburg, Ohio, electrician has soured on President Bush. Deckard is out of work and his unemployment checks will soon end if the Republican-led Congress doesn't extend benefits.


Deckard, the Ohio electrician, said his family of four would soon feel the consequences of the lawmakers' decision not to renew a benefits program for the long-term unemployed. The program gave workers three months of federal jobless benefits after their state benefits ran out, typically after 26 weeks.

The federal program had been paying out nearly $1 billion a month before it expired in December. Many Republicans say renewing it would violate a budget deal.
And then there’s ergonomics
Bush's workplace policies have drawn criticism almost from the beginning of his administration, when he took aim at one of worker advocates' most treasured achievements: sweeping new ergonomics rules.

The regulations, which had been under development for years, were issued in the Clinton administration's final days; Bush backed a measure in Congress to repeal them.

The rules required businesses to adopt new equipment and training to help workers avoid repetitive stress and related conditions that are common in industrial plants and white-collar offices alike.

The vote to repeal them ran largely along partisan lines, with Republicans and the White House heeding warnings from business groups that the rules would cost at least $7 billion in the first year alone. When the repeal became law, a National Assn. of Manufacturers spokesman called it a "high-water mark" of its lobbying efforts.
"High water" as in enough to drown them all I hope.