We need government that works for working people

Never mind that Republicans are perfectly happy with big government when there’s a buck to be made, from enriching the “military-industrial complex” (a phrase coined by Republican President Dwight Eisenhower) to propping up Big Oil. It is clear to me that we need government that works more for working people, not less.

Local 1700 members have a unique interest in debunking the myth of evil big government. Intercity bus drivers have suffered declining living standards since the industry was deregulated and government stopped enforcing rules a generation ago. We need more effective regulation that protects bus workers, not less.

For example, it’s time for intercity bus drivers to be covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, an act that protects working people and that Republicans promise to scrap if elected. We must eliminate the bus carriers’ exemption from FLSA overtime provisions, not the government’s role in protecting workers.

Of course the exploiters of working people (who Republicans now call “job creators”) want to get the government off their backs. I don’t. I want officials to tilt more toward working people when it comes to union organizing. We need a voice on the job, but the Employee Free Choice Act stands zero chance of passage if Republicans continues to paralyze Congress.

Public opinion polls have been leaning our way lately. We can turn back the Tea Party in the Nov. 6 elections. Acting on this opportunity and making it happen is our task for the next month. Let’s get to work!