[Marxism] NYT: "Organized labor is fighting for a pro-union bill as if its life depended on it."
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Fri Feb 23 01:54:14 MST 2007
New York Times
February 23, 2007
Labor Seeks Boost From Pro-Union Measure
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 — Organized labor is fighting for a pro-union bill
as if its life depended on it.
Some labor experts say the union movement's ability to reverse its
slide could in fact hinge on its winning passage of the bill, which
would make it easier for workers to join unions.
The United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation
and more than a dozen other business groups are mounting a fierce
campaign to stop the bill, inundating Congress with more than 10,000
e-mail messages and letters. At the same time, labor unions are
sponsoring demonstrations, conferences and meetings in 99 cities this
month to push for the legislation. The two sides have also squared off
with newspaper advertisements.
"The business community thinks the labor movement is at death's door,
and they want to make sure they keep this bill from passing," said
Charles Craver, a professor of labor law at George Washington
University. "If it passes, it will give labor a big boost."
Business lobbyists voice confidence that they can block the bill in
the Senate, where opponents say a filibuster is likely. Vice President
Dick Cheney said last week that President Bush would veto the bill.
"It's a huge issue," said Randel Johnson, vice president for labor
policy at the United States Chamber of Commerce. "We've targeted this
as our No. 1 or No. 2 priority to defeat."
The bill would give employees at a workplace the right to unionize as
soon as a majority sign cards saying they want a union, a process
known as a card check or majority signup. Under current law, employers
can insist on a secret-ballot election to determine whether a majority
of employees favors a union.
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