The headline on this video page that has a transcript is White House could use power of federal contracting to enforce labor laws, but has no plans to do so. The Executive Order in question that would force large corporations into behaving responsibly toward workers is about laws that already exist but are not enforced, about an executive order that was signed by President Bill Clinton and then squashed by George W. Bush.
ELK: So there are currently laws on the book that say that if a company breaks the law, they can be debarred from bidding on federal contracts, meaning they can’t get federal contracts. It’s currently in this country illegal to fire a worker from their job for joining a union, but 20,000 workers a year are either fired or disciplined for trying to join a union, both of which are illegal. One-third of all, you know, union organizing drives, somebody gets fired from their job. Over 130,000 companies are federal contractors. All the big companies get some type of federal contract. If you say–if you enforce these laws, these laws about how to debar companies, these companies wouldn’t get contracts anymore.
It is the type of executive order that could get Union workers back in the mood for volunteering and getting active in supporting all the other Democrats who will be running in 2012.
The interview came after Tuesday May 10 when Mike Elk wrote Obama Has Power to Stop Unionbusting With a Stroke of His Pen
In the last part of the Clinton administration, when Podesta was White House Chief of Staff, the government issued executive orders to implement “high road” contracting practices that would have enforced laws on the books barring companies that broke labor, safety, and environmental laws from receiving federal contracts. President Bill Clinton’s “contractor responsibility rule” would have created guidelines, a centralized database and data standards to prevent bad actor corporations from receiving government contracts. (The George W. Bush administration ended up blocking implementation of the orders.)
But just a few days later and the enthusiasm seems to be already gone. How can you support such an executive order?