Thursday, October 15, 2009

Alexander, Corker Protect KBR, Ignore Rape

It is very good news that the U.S. Senate voted to end forced arbitration of Defense contract employees who are raped by their co-workers. (as I noted earlier this week). But the bad news is how the Tennessee media has ignored the votes cast by Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker who voted against such a change.

How could they vote to protect such a vile crime? Why does the U.S. Chamber of Commerce support arbitration as a "benefit" for employees?

Said Sen. Franken: "
She has not had her day in court, she has litigated for four years to have her day in court. She was drugged, she was raped, and she had to have reconstructive surgery. If that's a better workplace, what was the workplace like before?"

The two Tennessee senators were joined by 28 other Republicans voting against the protection of Americans and instead voted to protect the multi-billion dollar contractor Halliburton/KBR.

Rage and anger at accusations against the group ACORN dominated the news for weeks. Meanwhile, gang-rape victim Jamie Leigh Jones faced a 4-year battle to encourage Congress to halt the employee abuses of Halliburton/KBR. In September, she finally was allowed to take her case to court.

Last night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart pointed out the shame of those 30 senators.


  1. J Simoneaux6:43 PM

    Nonsense, Joe.

    Why not think a bit for yourself rather than regurgitating what your "progressive" buddies feed you.

    If you went to the doctor recently (even if you don't have your single payer to pay the tab), you signed a waiver stating that you accept arbitration. It is quite typical and not as heinous as Jon Stewart would opine.

    However, arbitration does not cover crimimal acts. She can apply for relief through federal court. Simple as that.

    Listen to somebody besides Al Franken or Frank Rich - it will add spice to your otherwise predictable menu.

  2. wrong again, Jenn.

    as an employee of KBR in a foreign country, she has no rights to pursue a criminal case. the Justice Dept. has refused to investigate or comment for more than 4 years. it took 4 years just to get one appeals court to grant her the right to sue KBR.

    Employers and businesses like to say that people have a choice to use arbitration or go to court – but they don’t. If someone refuses to sign a contract with forced arbitration but still shows up for work or uses a product or service, they lose even the option of going to court. Even if they never read the clause – which is usually buried in the fine print – they are forced to use a private legal system of arbitration instead of getting their day in court and a fair jury trial. Americans should never have to give up their rights just to do the everyday things in their lives.

    And it was Jamie's Republican congressman, Ted Poe of Texas who championed her rights and demanded action be taken to protect her rights. Congressman Poe is the founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Victim’s Rights Caucus. As a former criminal court judge and prosecutor for over 30 years in Houston, Texas, Poe is recognized nationally for his creative sentencing of criminals and as a dedicated advocate for victims and children.

    The Congress is facing tough competition from groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to pass the Arbitration Fairness Act - which reads "Arbitration Fairness Act of 2009 - Declares that no predispute arbitration agreement shall be valid or enforceable if it requires arbitration of:
    (1) an employment, consumer, or franchise dispute, or
    (2) a dispute arising under any statute intended to protect civil rights. Declares, further, that the validity or enforceability of an agreement to arbitrate shall be determined by a court, under federal law, rather than an arbitrator, irrespective of whether the party resisting arbitration challenges the arbitration agreement specifically or in conjunction with other terms of the contract containing such agreement. Exempts from this Act arbitration provisions in collective bargaining agreements."

    You may be willing to allow your rights to be trampled, Jenn. I'm surprised you didn't just blame Jamie Leigh Jones for being raped in the first place, especially since you cheer the Tennessee senators who refuse to prosecute rape cases.

  3. TNreader12:55 PM

    hey Jenn --

    Joe wrote about this story last Saturday, before Stewart did his bit on the shameful acts of Corker and Alexander. go swill some more Fox News Kool-aid and fantasize that Glenn Beck loves you.