Monday, March 9, 2009
Grim Reality of Donkey Politics is Calling, Will You Stand Up & Fight for Capitalism?
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--House and Senate Democrats are set to introduce a controversial bill Tuesday that is shaping up to launch a major battle between labor and business groups this year. The Employee Free Choice Act, which Democrats say will make it easier for workers to organize into a union, will be introduced jointly by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., on Tuesday, said a spokeswoman for Miller. The bill is just as fiercely opposed by business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as it is defended by labor organizations. It would compel business owners to recognize unions once more than 50% of workers agree to form one. Currently, owners have the right to demand a secret ballot election is held before a union is recognized. The legislation would also require owners and unions to submit to binding arbitration if, 120 days after a union is formed, the two sides can't agree on an initial contract. A third part of the bill would strengthen penalties against employers seen to be trying to intimidate workers who are trying to organize a union. Labor unions have long advocated for Congress to act to bring forward the legislation, but Republicans have opposed the measure and refused to do so. Now, with the Democrats in control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, labor groups believe this is an ideal time to try to pass the legislation. The Chamber plans to mobilize a substantial grass-roots movement to aggressively lobby lawmakers against the bill. It is flying around 180 of its members to Washington D.C. Tuesday to meet with lawmakers on the subject. Similarly, labor groups are getting set to substantially ramp up their lobbying efforts in favor of the proposal. The Senate Health Committee is scheduled to have a hearing into the bill Tuesday morning, after which Harkin and Miller are slated to hold a press conference formally introducing the legislation. Harkin is a senior Democratic member of the Senate health panel, while Miller is the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, which will lead the charge on the measure in the House. -By Corey Boles, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6601; firstname.lastname@example.org Click here to go to Dow Jones NewsPlus, a web front page of today's most important business and market news, analysis and commentary: http://www.djnewsplus.com/access/al?rnd=uhZWDuT8N%2Fh45Ys7RP60FQ%3D%3D. You can use this link on the day this article is published and the following day. (END) Dow Jones Newswires March 09, 2009 16:30 ET (20:30 GMT) Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.- - 04 30 PM EDT 03-09-09
Posted by The Call Team at 4:38 PM