Representing casino workers engaged in union organizing campaigns in the Indian Gaming Industry, I pay close attention to elections on Indian Reservations as I do with politics in general in the three states I work in--- Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Many Indian Reservations just held their Primary Elections.
Each and every Indian Reservation engaged in gaming is now thoroughly corrupt and crooked; just like the state and federal governments they work with, hand-in-hand. Like with politics generally, seldom is found an honest tribal politician.
The recent tribal elections on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation brought out an issue seldom discussed or debated every single worker employed anyplace in the United States should be concerned about:
Corrupt tribal politicians like Leech Lake Chair, Carri Jones, use "At-Will Employment" to try to coerce support and try to stymie and thwart opposition.
"At-will Employment" has been the weapon of choice used to silence opposition. Of course when this doesn't work these corrupt tribal politicians are known to use more persuasive "techniques" as were demonstrated by Archie LaRose who sodomized an opponent with a broomstick and beat with his fist for hours another opponent. When all else fails, the FBI hounds and harasses reform-minded activists to death like they did with Native American trade unionist pipefitter Gregory Paquin.
"At-will Employment" is an issue far more important than "Citizens United" or the more recent U.S. Supreme Court case providing the wealthy and Wall Street even more control over politics and elections.
This issue which surfaced of "At-will Employment" denies working people full participation in the electoral process because employers use this to retaliate against workers.
Many muddle-headed, well-heeled, upper-middle class intellectuals do not understand this issue and many of the millionaire labor "leaders" do everything possible to prevent this issue of "At-will Employment" from being brought forward.
Did you ever hear of the Democratic Party ever having a platform plank calling for rescinding "At-Will Employment?"
As far as I know, the Roseau County Democratic Farmer-Labor Party is the only Democratic Party organization to have ever passed a resolution for repealing and rescinding "At-Will Hiring and At-Will Firing" and calling for "Just Employment."
The Leech Lake Business Organization (LLBO) which the tribal council is called, supports corrupt local, state and federal Democratic politicians; in return these corrupt local, state and federal politicians turn around and support corrupt tribal politicians. One hand of corruption feeds the other.
These Democratic Party politicians are constantly bestowing credibility to corrupt tribal politicians. Congressman Rick Nolan even stepped in to provide credibility to Archie LaRose when everyone knew he was a vicious, violent crook... ditto for U.S. Senator Al Franken and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Then the corrupt tribal and state and federal politicians join together to turn their backs on the problems of the people.
The only way they can prevent the voices of the people from coming forward is by restricting participation of the people with the ultimate undemocratic practice being denying people the right to jobs--- which includes firing people under terms of "At-will Employment."
What could be more undemocratic than employers having the "right," then denying a human being employment they require to make a living based on a worker's participation in the political process?
Get rid of "At-will Employment" and this will be a major step forward in the struggle for democracy and reforms going well beyond any impact overturning "Citizens United" could ever have--- it remains important to overturn "Citizens United" but the severe restrictions "At-Will Employment" place on the rights of workers is true on reservations as it is for workers everywhere.
Who is "we the people?"
Aren't the majority of the people working people?
If the majority of working people are restricted from fully participating in the political process, what kind of "democracy" exists in this country?
When employers use "At-will Employment" to punish workers by firing--- or using the threat of termination from employment--- for participating in defending their rights and their livelihoods in the electoral process you are controlling and manipulating the majority of the people... this is not democracy.
As the election campaign in Leech Lake demonstrated, there is tremendous support from among the majority of the people to terminate "At-will Employment" and replace it with "Just Employment."
I hope the people of Leech Lake take this opportunity to get rid of "At-will Employment" and blaze a trail to real democracy for all Minnesotans and workers across the United States.
As long as people need to fear losing their jobs due to "At-will Employment" it will be very difficult to achieve meaningful reforms of any kind... from Minimum Wage legislation to real health care reform and securing full employment legislation.
People without rights in their place of employment have no rights anyplace else as long as the possibility of termination due to "At-will Employment" is hanging over their head.
It is up to each and every one of us to become thoroughly familiar with the "Doctrine of At-Will Employment" which is behind "At-Will Employment" legislation.