St. Louis Oracle

St. Louis-based political forecasting plus commentary on politics and events from a grassroots veteran with a mature, progressive anti-establishment perspective.

Monday, July 27, 2009

McCaskill suffers wasted hit over ‘card check’

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) wasted some of her political capital this month defending the “card check” provision of the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). That provision would have required employers to recognize a union as soon as a majority of workers signed cards saying they wanted a union, without a secret-ballot election. While supporting that provision in a conference call with Missouri radio reporters, Sen. McCaskill downplayed charges that card check would allow union organizers to intimidate workers into signing union representation cards. According to Missourinet the blog, McCaskill stated,

I think that this notion that thugs are going to go out and slash people's tires in order to get them to check a card is ludicrous and insulting to working people. That's not going to happen. And, there have been literally a handful of instances where there has been any kind of allegation that has been proven in that regard in the last 20 years.

That quote caused some opponents of the bill to charge that McCaskill had admitted the existence of proven allegations of tire slashing in union organizing efforts in “a handful of instances,” and that she had been too dismissive of the seriousness of such incidents.

That’s the kind of thing that could find its way into future Republican negative attack ads.

McCaskill endured that criticism for nothing, though, because less than 10 days later, Democratic Party leadership let her hang out to dry when key senators dropped that provision from EFCA.

Organized Labor still supports the bill without card check, because its current provisions require that the representation election be held more promptly, reducing the employer’s opportunity to lobby its employees to vote against the union, and because of its binding arbitration provisions. The latter provisions would allow federal arbitrators named by the government to decide disputes over wages and benefits. Unions are hopeful (and business leaders are fearful) that federal arbitrators, especially those appointed by a labor-friendly administration, would be likely to require employers to pay wages and benefits that approach what the unions demand. Many business lobbyists fear the arbitration provision the most, but opposing it won’t be as easy as appealing to Americans’ devotion to the secret ballot.

Realistically the revised bill is better, and it will pass without further bloodshed.

1 Comments:

Blogger victor said...

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August 6, 2009 at 11:29 PM  

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