Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Labor Mural in Maine order Down by Republican LePage, too “biased against business owners.”

If the full frontal assault on employees and their place in the work force weren’t obvious enough, just take a look what extremist Republican Gov. Paul LePage is doing.  
Cleveland Leader: Maine's new Republican governor, Paul LePage, has ordered the removal of a 36-foot mural in the Department of Labor's lobby which depict's Maine's labor history. 
Critics have labeled it a "mean-spirited" attempt at provocation amid LePage's standoff with unions, but a spokesperson, when asked to justify the mural's removal, said that "some businesspeople" said that the mural was "hostile to business." When asked to elaborate on which businesspeople complained, the spokesperson declined to comment.
After digging deeper, I found this at the Huffington Post
Maine DOL Acting Commissioner Laura Boyett sent out an e-mail saying that after some complaints from businesses, the mural would be removed. Additionally, the state would be renaming eight conference rooms, many of which commemorate former labor leaders and one honoring the first female U.S. Cabinet secretary. 
"We have received feedback that the administration building is not perceived as equally receptive to both businesses and workers … Whether or not the perception is valid is not really at issue and therefore, not open to debate. 
Since when is anything you’ll find in the Big Government Republicans agenda up for anything but dictates? But will voters ever take notice before the critical and final stage leading to one party rule?
Maine AFL-CIO President Don Berry issued a statement condemning the announcement, saying, "No matter what you name a room, no matter how many pictures you take down, the truth is that this state was built by and for working people and this move dishonors the generations of hard-working Mainers who came before us. Paul LePage cannot erase our history, and he will not silence the voice of the working class in Maine."
Mural details: The 11-panel mural was created by artist Judy Taylor. She says that it was never intended to be pro-union or pro-labor. It was simply supposed to be a "pure depiction of the facts". The mural depicts everything from Rosie the Riveter to life in the state's mill towns. Taylor says that the mural always evoked positive reactions, even from businesspeople.

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