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Rep. Bill Amerman, Published May 24 2009

Amerman: You got to love comedy

You know I’m a big fan of comedy. I love good stand-up comedy, a good comedy sitcom or a funny movie.

So I’ve got to tell you when I read the letter on May 10 from Dave MacIver, president of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, professing he was so concerned about unions’ and employees’ rights in the Employee Free Choice Act, I just had to crack up. Little did I know that the best comedy act in the world was right here in North Dakota.

Imagine the president of an organization that has done everything possible to suppress wages and workers’ rights for decades pretending they’re concerned about the poor unions and workers’ rights under this act. Now you got to admit that’s a hoot.

It’s just pure genius how he pulled off pretending he didn’t know that in one year employers broke the law more than 26,000 times by violating the National Labor Relations Act by illegal firings, threats, coercing and other means when employees tried to organize a union. Then he has to keep a straight face pretending he doesn’t know that the punishments for breaking these laws was little or nothing. I tell you, it’s not everyone who can keep a straight face when he knows better.

I don’t know what the chamber is paying. MacIver for being president, but for a guy that could hold his own alongside Jerry Seinfeld, it’s not enough.

Seriously, if MacIver and the chamber want to help workers in this state, they have to take their comedy act on the road. They have to book their act at the Fargodome, Alerus Center and every other big civic center in the state. I guarantee at $50 a seat they would sell out. Also for an opening act they could get Duane Sand. He’s also funny when it comes to the Employee Free Choice Act. Then with all the money they raise they could start a fund to help all the workers who have been laid off in North Dakota thanks to corporate greed, golden parachutes and, oh yes, a couple of guys named Bush and Cheney.

Yes sir, you got to love a good comedy act.

Amerman, D-Forman, N.D., has represented District 26 in the N.D. House of Representatives since 2003.