Tonight on Political Analysis, Sandy LeonVest is joined by the vice-president of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers (AWPPW) Greg Palleson and award-winning labor journalist Mike Elk to talk about, among other things, how US workers are being personally impacted — tangibly and right now — by policies made possible by unlimited corporate power, as embodied in the Citizens United decision, ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), corporate globalization, the WTO and so-called “free trade agreements” such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Mike Elk is the investigative journalist who recently wrote a blockbuster article for In These Times, in which he exposed how the Koch Brothers (Charles and David) attempted to coerce some 45,000 employees at its subsidiary Georgia-Pacific into voting Republican. They did this by exploiting a loophole created by the Citizens United decision (the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that effectively gave corporations the same rights as people). The loophole allows employers to campaign — and apparently to utilize heavy-handed campaigning tactics to pressure employees in the workplace.
Greg Palleson, in his capacity of AWPPW vice-president, has taken a stand against this coercive corporate practice at substantial risk to himself and his family. He is a relentless advocate for labor rights, and is currently championing the cause of workers all over the country by organizing the rank and file to push the Obama administration to keep good-paying US manufacturing jobs here in the US.