Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Employee Free Choice Act-- Will Obama Roll Over Or Stand And Fight?


The only hope

John Ensign (R-NV) may be a boob who is rarely right about anything, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. With the GOP and their union-busting allies at the Chamber of Commerce and WalMart ready to fight to the death to prevent the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, Ensign explained why its so crucial for the Republicans to defeat this pro-working family bill. He says the bill "could determine the character of the senate for decades."
"It would make Republicans the minority party for the next 40 to 50 years," said Ensign of the EFCA.

Ensign argued the legislation would bolster union ranks and union dues, which could then be funneled to Democratic campaigns.

"Democrats would have a huge fundraising advantage for elections from now on," said Ensign.

So not only will the bill help rebuild the middle class (and the economy), it will also help the Democrats politically. A week or two ago we looked at the past attempt to pass the bill (EFCA). It passed overwhelmingly in the House, where 13 Republicans joined all but two of the most reactionary Democrats (Dan Boren and Gene Taylor) in voting for it. And in the Senate the GOP filibustered it to death, 48 Republicans joining in that effort. The only Republican willing to stand up for working Americans to end the filibuster was Arlen Specter (R-PA). Tim Johnson (D-SD), a co-sponsor, was in the hospital and couldn't vote. Several of the anti-working families Republicans who joined the filibuster were defeated-- or have retired and been replaced-- by Democrats: Wayne Allard (CO), Elizabeth Dole (NC), Pete Domenici (NM), Gordon Smith (OR), Ted Stevens (AK), John Sununu (NH) and John Warner (VA). If the vote were to take place today there is every indication that it would be 59- 40. The decisive vote comes down to Minnesota and who wins the recount between anti-working family Norm Coleman and pro-working family Al Franken.

And that's a best case scenario. Club for Growth (of Fascism) is threatening to primary Specter unless he changes his vote when it comes up again and Specter is one of the Senate's most pathetic cowards who sways with the winds in the best of times. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who many thought was the Democrats' best hope for finding a Republican to stand up for working families, stated today that she opposes the bill. If the Democrats have to count on Judd Gregg, George Voinovich or Lisa Murkowski, who are up for re-election in 2010, or Mel Martinez, who is retiring, it's not likely the bill will pass.

And not everything is hunky dory on the Democratic side of the aisle either. Now that he's just been re-elected and is safe for another 6 years, a reactionary Democrat who boasts you don't need to pass an IQ test to get elected to the Senate and who acknowledges that mankind may have started 5,000 years ago with a talking snake, says he wants to find a compromise and won't co-sponsor the bill again.

Now the question is how hard will Obama, who was a co-sponsor of the bill, fight for it. His unwillingness to join in the battle to defeat Saxby Chambliss, one of the half dozen most destructive extremists in the Senate, who campaigned on a platform of thwarting Obama's agenda, makes me fear Obama will not stand up and fight and that we have another Bill Clinton in the White House. For what it's worth an aide of Obama's reaffirmed his support for EFCA in a one word statement to the Huffington Post-- and everyone knows a one word statement is better than a nod or even a grunt.
Asked if Obama's support for the Employee Free Choice Act remained as strong as his public proclamations suggested on the campaign trail, transition spokesman Dan Pfeiffer responded, succinctly, "Yes."

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At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we need unions now more than ever.A union is the people who work for a is not the president of the union or anyone else in the organization. IT IS THE WORKERS.If you are lucky to work for a co. who listens and respects thier employees that is great. Most workers do not!!!!!We just recently formed our union after 20 years of anti management garbage. we got it through the card checks. in case people don't know, the workers still vote for the contract in secret before the union takes affect. if the contract is voted down the union doesn't get in. we worked very hard to get our contract and I am proud to say it passed in secret by a large number.we would not have been able to do this if not for the card checks. the workers were too afraid of managemant to even speak about a union. we were brain washed for years by management. finally we have everything in writing. thanks to UFCW 1776.a proud union member

At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For us conservatives I believe the key to stopping the dastardly unions is continually lower labor standards in this country so that even if workers organize it will not effect corporate profitability. For example, say the going wage for a warehouse job in a certain city is $12/ hr with the unionized facilities paying $14/ hr. Therefore bargaining will start at $12/ HR. However, if conservatives like me and the business lobby can succeed in driving down labor stardards to $12/ day or even $12/ week then workers who organize will have a much lower starting point. Again, the only solution is to make our economy more closely resemble those of the third world-poverty level wages, no healthcare, no retirement, no workplace safety, no regulation whatsoever. In that environoment even organized workers won't make as much as unorganized workers do today. Think about it.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Bopper said...

I see the non-UAW foreign car firms whom most of the Southern states have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in TIF and grants to get them here aren't doing so well either. Wonder which union they will try to blame that on.
It's amazing how people with money are against middle class people making a good middle class income with benefits.
It appears class warfare is alive and well in the (G)eorge (O)rwell (P)arty.

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Amazing said...

I am amazed the the concideration of the Free Choice Act. Iam going out on a limb and say that the president elect a Harvard graduate see what has happened with the big three in detroit. Goverment protect the worker rights not like back in the 40's. Union membership is 11% of the work force for a reason. Most union affliations are not able to keep the promises and the ways they try to enter in busisness are very deceptive. Unions dont pay the associates they just collect dues and make 98% of the decisions without representation of the rank and file. We are in a gobal ecomomy and cant compete with union representation. Neither can we afford the extravgant spending of big league corporations with tax payer dollars. Look at the layoffs get ready for evaporated retirements and stock markets and coruption never before seen with uneducated power seekers with dues at their disposal. Not unlike the white collar crimes we now deal with. Just having the discussion to me is the death of common sense.
I am praying President elect see's a pit for America that we wont recover with thsi bill.

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that small business trying to keep their workers working is becoming harder and harder every year. Substantial tax increases, minimum wage increase by $2.50 per hour, health benefits are through the roof, unemployment rates increased in the past few years, basic insurance doubled, and workman's comp rates up. When does the small business get a break. If businesses are not able to control their costs - there is no point in being in business. In my opinion, unions would be the breaking point of many of these smaller companies including ours. So some people might want to reconsider if they would like to have a union with benefits or no job at all.
Because not only would the 500+ people in our company be out of work - the school district would lose one of the larger tax payers, the county and township would also be in trouble causing teachers and police to be laid off etc.. I see no long term benefit to anyone if more people lose their jobs.

At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unions are businesses, just as are the companies they seek to organize. But unlike most businesses, unions produce neither goods or services. Rather, they are parasitic to the creativity of others, be it the workers they organize or the companies who hire the workers they organize. Unions are in it for dues.


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