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How Unions Can Help the Gulf OIl Disaster and Themselves

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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There's an old law, the Jones Act, which forbids boats not built in the US from operating in US waters. It's currently preventing foreign nations from providing boats that are designed for getting oil out of water from coming to help in the Gulf.

flickr image by kk+

President Obama could suspend the law as President Bush did during Katrinia. The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial Saturday, says " in the two weeks immediately after the spill, 13 foreign governments reached out and offered their assistance. The U.S. response? Thanks, but no thanks."

The WSJ claims that the reason we're not accepting the help is because of Obama's fealty to unions.

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Union leaders should take the WSJ's Op-ed as a cue. They should encourage Obama, particularly ship-building related unions, to suspend the Jones Act temporarily, for at least six months, and encourage Obama to invite other nations to send their oil scrubbing, cleaning, removing ships as fast as possible. They can also encourage Obama and congress to create a budget, paid for by BP and any emergency funds sourced from oil drillers, to build US boats. Add those boats to the coast guard fleet.

These are times that require extraordinary leadership. Obama needs all the help he can get. Unions can be heroes by letting go of rights that don't do them any good anyway, at least in the short run, and may actually help their workers in the long run.


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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 


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