Wednesday, November 18, 2009

US Chamber of Commerce protects rapists in Iraq !

This just in from

The US Chamber of Commerce [a bullying corporate lobby organization - CHWA words] has sent a letter to Congress saying that it would "set a dangerous precedent" to allow rape victims into court. The worst news? The Chamber has enough clout to tie up the bill for years, unless we fight back.

In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was working for a private contractor in Iraq when she was brutally gang-raped by coworkers. Four years later, Jamie is still being denied justice.

Jamie can't file U.S. criminal charges because the rape took place overseas, and a fine-print clause in her contract takes away her right to file a lawsuit in the U.S.

Congress is working to protect the rights of rape victims like Jamie.* But, shockingly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is fighting it. They say that it would "set a dangerous precedent" to allow rape victims into court.

Organizations endorsing the petition include the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Public Citizen, Consumer Action, Workplace Fairness, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Take Back Your Rights PAC, Alliance for Justice, and the Jamie Leigh Foundation.

A compiled petition with your individual comment will be presented to U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue.

*Senator Al Franken has proposed an accepted amendment to right this wrong. When speaks, the Chamber is fearful. The mightly, wealthy Chamber knows the US voters' values are represented by this organization. So speak up and sign that petition. You don't have to join their organization to show you care.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

UC anti-bullying legislation fell out!

California State Assemblymember Tom Torlakson of Antioch, California sponsored a Concurrent Resolution to appropriate $180,000 for voluntary participation in workplace bullying training for managers. Unfortunately, this resolution died in the appropriations committee.

Mr. Torlakson, who is running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction has no plans to go forward at this time. He is concerned that that the press would twist the issue into a controversy. Interestingly, the “educational establishment” has often been the lead opponents of the Healthy Workplace Bill because they are loath to lose absolute power over educators who are not in their inner circle.

The floor vote for this in the Assembly was all ‘ayes’ for Democrats and all ‘noes’ for Republicans. The California University Employees Union first brought the idea to the Member. The resolution was voluntary because our state legislature cannot place requirements on University of California schools, as it can on California State University schools for which it serves as regent.

Staffer Monique Ramos from the Torlakson office commented, “What the issue needs is education.” Yes, we first the education to correct and prevent. But in the end, without a legal club, no bully will stop the bad behavior. They are not cognitively capable.

The response to Ramos was, “We’ve been trying for a decade and we will keep up the good cause.” What opponents fail to realize is that this bill would easily pay for itself.

Assemblymember Torlakson’s government site can be reached for ‘thank you messages’ from Bullybusters. At least he tried.

To read the bill analysis, see:

Bill documents can be read at:

Bill history for ACR #55:

From California Assembly Concurrent Resolution #55:

Urges the training be presented by trainers or educators
with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of
workplace bullying.

1) Fiscal impact . According to the Assembly
Appropriations Committee analysis, this bill has
estimated one-time costs of approximately $180,000 for
UC to develop the course content and materials and plan
for the implementation of the training. In addition,
there would be ongoing costs of about $50,000 in
consulting contracts to provide the training as well as
additional, but unknown costs associated with staff time
to attend training.