Union-related bill is blocked

According to www.cnn.com, on Tuesday, June 26, Senate Republicans blocked The Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would allow labor unions to organize workplaces without a secret-ballot election, in a 51-48 vote.

A company currently can demand a secret-ballot election supervised by the federal government after being presented with union cards. The bill would require that employers recognize unions after being presented with union cards signed by a majority of eligible workers on their payrolls.

Unions say employers have more access to workers during secret-ballot campaigns, and intimidation, corporate threats and eventual firings have become common for union activists. In addition, they say companies drag out the election process so union enthusiasm wanes.

Employers oppose this view, saying that using only a card check system would allow union organizers to intimidate reluctant workers because they would know who did and didn't sign the card.

The bill has been an issue debated by Democrats, who largely support organized labor, and Republicans, who largely support businesses. In fact, the bill is said to be a "litmus test vote" to see where support lies.

"[Tuesday's] vote shows us who are standing with workers and which politicians are in collusion with corporate America to destroy the middle class," says Teamsters President Jim Hoffa.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) holds a different view.

"Republicans will remind our constituents about the fact that Democrats proposed to strip workers of their voting rights," he says.

Date : 6/28/2007