Card check update | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Card check update

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Washington press continues to report that U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin is intent on forcing a vote on the Employee Free Choice Act, the union-backed legislation to restore some balance to labor negotiations.

If Arkansas senators' votes are neeed, fuhgeddaboudit. Paul Barton checked in today and again got the boilerplate our senators have been passing out. They'll be standing with their friends, of course. But closer to the ones with the big wallets than the others.

By Paul Barton


WASHINGTON – Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin continues to promise that he will bring the Employees Free Choice Act – popularly known as “card check” – to the Senate floor in July after Al Franken of Minnesota is sworn in as the 60th  Democratic senator.

That’s according to Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper and the Web site

There continues to be speculation there and in other places that Harkin may have come up with a way to get Arkansas’ two Democrats, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, on board.

   So the Arkansas Times put in requests late last week and this week  to both senators to see if anything has changed. Neither statement should get unions too excited.

    Pryor said through a spokesman: “The Employee Free Choice Act is dead, and I am not working on a compromise to this bill. However, I continue to meet with business, labor and my colleagues to discuss the potential for common ground to make sure the process for forming a union is fair for workers and employers. This is an effort to bring new ideas to the table, but there is no draft and there remains a lot of distance between the various parties.”

  Lincoln’s office said this week she stands by her statements from earlier. Her priorities are still “job creation, health care reform, energy reform, investment in public education and tax cuts for middle class working familes.”  And she repeated: “I consider both the labor and the business communities to be my friends.  However, now that we need all hands on deck, including business and labor, to get our economy moving again, this issue is dividing us.”  But, she continued to emphasize, she still can’t support the bill “in its current form,” or an effort to bring to it to  the floor in its original form. Lastly, Lincoln said again, “I will consider alternatives that have the support of both business and labor but my pledge today is to focus my full attention on the priorities I have mentioned that affect every working family in Arkansas.”

 And EFCA, her statement made clear, is still not on that priority list.

 Labor sees the bill as making it easier for workers at a site to unionize by simply checking off on a card their preference to do so  rather going through an election, they say, that allows companies to intimidate workers. Employers say union votes should be done through the honored American tradition of secret ballots as before.

  But even after a union wins an election big business can drag its feet in negotiating a contract. That’s why many labor advocates say the real emphasis should be on an arbitration process that would keep business from dragging its feet if workers vote to unionize.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 2016
  • Payday lenders on the march at legislature

    Payday lenders are working hard to get legislative cover for the reintroduction of their usurious loan business to Arkansas. Some are fighting back.
    • Mar 10, 2017
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation