So Long Card Check

sbrownNew Orleans  Steven Greenhouse reported in the Times today what most in the labor movement have come to expect for quite a while:  card check is not going to emerge in any final labor law reform at this time.

Card check, as many must know, is a procedure allowing for recognition of a union as the workers’ representative based on counting the workers’ voluntarily signed union authorization cards, rather than going to a government supervised election.  Put politicians in the squeeze with business and add the confusion over workplace “democracy” and elections, and all of us knew this was going to be a hard, hard sell.

Quick elections would get the job done and probably make bargaining a little easier, so there’s still a heartbeat for real reform.

More troubling to me was seeing that Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania were key members of the gang of six that are pushing for this watering down of employee free choice.  Senator Pryor from Arkansas is to be expected as a moderate voice, and if he can bring Senator Blanche Lincoln from Arkansas and leverage Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana, then we may not have to cross the street in Little Rock when we see him coming down the same side.

Continue reading “So Long Card Check”

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Crawfishing on Employee Choice

cover-mary_landrieu_t290New Orleans A full page ad ran in my local paper in New Orleans thanking Senator Mary Landrieu from SEIU.  Must be reverse psychology, because Louisiana’s senior senator is just leaving workers twisting in the wind or worse.  A friend in a sister local told me the other day that she had run into the Senator, and she wanted to be thanked for not having publicly said she was not committed to voting for the Employee Free Choice Act.  Huh?
Landrieu is crawfishing around on EFCA so far.  She was with labor in the past, but is running now, and for no reason, since he is in very beginning of a new six year term.  She doesn’t have the excuses that an Arlen Specter (PA) or Blanche Lincoln (AR) might claim who are facing potentially tough elections.
Truth is that too many of our labor sisters and brothers continue to give Landrieu a pass on the hard votes like this urgent need for labor law reform.  My building trades’ buddies continue to swoon as they say her name and turn a blind eye to the knife being turned in the back of workers throughout Louisiana.  What’s up with that?  It just makes it way too easy when labor is on the ropes anyway for Mary to take a powder when we need her the most to do right and do what she has done before and vote with us for labor law reform.
The Landrieu, Lincoln, and Pryor votes from the middle south that should be stalwarts that we can count on are killing us more than the Vitters and other haterators of workers in the Senate.  Even the President knows we don’t have a vote count our way.
If I don’t smell death in the air for this measure, I sure can smell people trying to make a deal in the best way possible as soon as we can.

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