Unions Want Obama’s Help In Passing Legislation That Helps Workers Unionize

According to a New York Times article, After Push for Obama, Unions Seek New Rules, one big goal unions want to accomplish, with President Obama’s help, is passage of legislation that will make it easier for workers to unionize.

The NYT says,  “Labor’s No. 1 priority is a piece of legislation called the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the card-check bill. The bill would give workers the right to join a union as soon as a majority of employees at a workplace signed cards saying they wanted one.”  Excerpts from the article:

  • With union membership sliding to 7.5 percent of the private-sector work force, one-third the rate in 1983, unions see enactment of the bill as the single most important step toward reversing their loss of membership and power. Some labor leaders predict that if the bill is passed, unions, which have 16 million members nationwide, would add at least five million workers to their rolls over the next few years.
  • Mr. Sweeney said that in the last four days of the campaign, 250,000 volunteers from A.F.L.-C.I.O. unions made 5.5 million phone calls and visited 3.9 million union households. All told, he said, unions reached out to more than 13 million voters in 24 states, with some undecided union members being contacted more than 30 times through phone calls, household visits and workplace conversations.
  • Union leaders say they were pivotal in helping Mr. Obama win several battleground states, including Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. According to a voter poll by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, 67 percent of members of A.F.L.-C.I.O. unions voted for Mr. Obama, a Democrat, and 30 percent for his Republican rival, Senator John McCain.
  • While the Chamber of Commerce seems ready to cooperate with organized labor to back an economic stimulus package, Mr. Donohue, the chamber’s president, said it would be unwise for Mr. Obama to embrace the Employee Free Choice Act when the economy was in such bad shape. He said the bill — along with other labor-backed bills that would raise business costs, including one that would guarantee most workers seven paid sick days a year — would hurt companies when many were struggling.
  • Chamber officials voiced confidence that they have the backing in the Senate to block the bill, a move that might cause business and labor to negotiate a version with compromises. Among the compromises floated would be keeping the secret ballot vote, but holding the vote just a few days after the union requests an election. Other ideas are to give union organizers access to workplace sites and to limit employers’ ability to campaign against the union.
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2 Responses to Unions Want Obama’s Help In Passing Legislation That Helps Workers Unionize

  1. Joe says:

    Great, just what we need for our struggling economy, more union hacks trying to impose their “no more secret ballot” hooliganism on the rest of the country and the workers who want no part of this form of extortion. Get over it already those who may believe I am some country club republican. I am not. I belonged to several unions in my life. All they did for me was run the company into the ground while protecting the lazy a**es who never came to work. I saw the handwriting on the wall in the late 80’s to early 90’s. All the places I used to work are GONE because we broke the house. I am definitely for and even walked the picket line once for better wages. I was not for pricing ourselves out of jobs while the union leaders did not even put a day in at the plant. What a fraud these union hacks are trying to pull now with Obama. They want payback so they, the union leaders, can continue to nothing at their place of employment. We are already in a heck of mess economically, we don’t need more “grievances and slow downs”.

  2. Stan Hirtle says:

    One problem is that labor laws are one place that companies can break the law with impunity, fire anyone they think might be pro union and seeing an occasional back pay award as a cost of doing business. For people who believe in personal responsibility and law and order, (particularly as applied to impoverished immigrants) this should be a problem. Of course companies are even moving from anti-union states to impoverished countries in the search for cheap labor. People who need unions most are the disposable low wage work force, who mostly work in places that can’t leave town. Places like Wal-Mart can certainly afford to pay more in wages.

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