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Labor Wish List – The Orlando Sentinel Editorial Page

July 27th, 2009
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The Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board weighs in on the latest version of EFCA:

Desperate to keep the so-called Employee Free Choice Act alive, supporters in the U.S. Senate have cut out its heart — a provision that would let unions represent workplaces without first winning majority support from employees in secret-ballot elections.

That makes the bill better, but not good enough. The bill would still give a government arbitrator the power to dictate wages and benefits for a business if management and labor can’t agree on a contract within 90 days. And in return for reviving secret ballots, supporters insisted on speeding up the timetable for elections so much that employees might not get a full and fair presentation from both sides before voting.

There are worthier provisions in the legislation, such as stricter enforcement of laws against intimidating or firing workers for union activities. But unless supporters bend more on the objectionable parts, the Senate should kill the bill.

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Moderates Prevail As Senate Democrats Drop “Card Check” Provision

July 17th, 2009
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The New York Times is reporting that a half-dozen senators friendly to labor have decided to drop the card check provision from legislation currently pending in the U.S. Senate.

“As Democrats, we’re proud of those moderate Senators who stood on principle and fought to protect the rights of workers and uphold the democratic process. We only wish our own Senator would have joined them.” said Joe Kefauver, Co-Founder, Floridians for Responsible Policy.

The Times points out that the abandonment of card check was another example of the power of moderate Democrats to constrain their party’s more liberal legislative efforts. Though the Democrats have a 60-40 vote advantage in the Senate, and President Obama supports the measure, several moderate Democrats opposed the card-check provision as undemocratic.

“It’s time for supporters of the measure to consider that it’s not about counting the votes and muscling legislation through the Congress and just admit that taking away a worker’s right to privacy is just bad public policy,” said Roger Chapin, co-founder of Floridians for Responsible Policy.

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