Union secret-ballot news - Nov. 11

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Stories-of-the-day concerning Organized Labor's #1 priority.

Obama's Union Bailout - 'Instant unionization' scheme on fast-track ... Perhaps Barack Obama's early priorities should give us a clue. While Rahm Emanuel has spoken of children's health and stem cell research as the first initiatives out of the box, it's clear that card check and the auto bailout are also on the fast track. Those are the top priorities of Big Labor -- which spent $450 million to put Barack Obama in the White House, and desperately needs government help to remain viable. (weeklystandard.com)

Barack Obama win means unemployment surge ahead ... Barack Obama has embraced a pro-union agenda that would strengthen the labor movement. And union leaders, who spent more than a quarter-billion dollars and enlisted more than a quarter-million volunteers to win working class swing voters, expect Democrats in both the White House and Congress to make good on their campaign promises ... Business leaders ... contend that the consequences would be to jeopardize jobs and force some small and midsized firms to close their doors because of higher wages and decreased work force flexibility. (stltoday.com)

Union bigs pin recovery hopes on Job-Killer Act ... Big Labor spent hundreds of millions of dollars getting Barack Obama elected president--SEIU members alone contributed about $85 million--and they'll expect to be rewarded once his administration sets up shop at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There's a theory that Congress and the new administration will address some of these issues, putting aside for a while the most controversial items--health care reform and the Employee Free Choice Act, the bill that would make it easier for unions to organize. Don't count on it. Instead, expect the union organizing bill to be front and center on the legislative agenda. "Labor's eggs are all in one basket," says Mike Asensio, a labor attorney with the law firm Baker Hostetler, of the bill. However, the measure, also known as "card check" because it would allow unions to organize by workers' signing union cards instead of voting in a secret ballot election, provokes stark opposition from business groups. That's not stopping labor groups. "We want it taken up early in the year because we think it's so central to the economic recovery," says AFL-CIO Legislative Director Bill Samuel. (forbes.com)

Moderate Dems may oppose Union Bigs ... At the top of labor's wish list is passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it harder for companies to fight union-organizing drives. "It is the most important issue that we have," said John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO. President-elect Barack Obama has promised to fight for the legislation, but whether it is introduced in the first 100 days of his administration could signal how strongly he is aligning himself with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, say political consultants. Moderate Democrats and those who have just won seats in traditionally Republican states are expected to argue against making the legislation an early priority. (online.wsj.com)

Liberals against choice ... Obama has made no secret of his plan to pass "card-check" legislation, which some have described as the most radical revision of labor law since 1935. It would permit unions to eliminate secret ballots -- against the wishes of 78 percent of union members -- which would represent a radical blow to democratic principles ... If you believe the left is tolerant, open-minded and democratic, you're in for a rude awakening. (townhall.com)

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"

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