In just two years, right-wing legislators weakened four states’ child labor laws — and a raft of other protections
Months after the Tea Party’s 2010 election triumph, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker made international news when activists occupied the Capitol in opposition to his anti-union gambit. But a report being released Thursday suggests Americans dramatically underestimate the scope and ambition of Republicans’ post-2010 push to ratchet workplace laws to the right – involving over a dozen states, a tangled web of under-the-radar coordination, and a broad constellation of weakened protections, from unemployment benefits to child labor laws.
“People in any given place, if they’re dealing with a minimum wage repeal in New Hampshire or something, mostly experience that as if it comes from a particular legislator in their state, and it’s explained as a response to the conditions in their state,” report author Gordon Lafer told Salon. “So when you put all the pieces together over the 50 states, one of the things you see is how concerted an effort it is, and how cookie-cutter the legislation is – and how much it’s not being driven by individual legislators, but by a national corporate lobby.”