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Is There Life Left in Card-Check Bill?

Sen. Tom Harkin disputes reports that the Employee Free Choice Act is dead.

WASHINGTON – Late last week, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) implied that the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was not dead in the Senate, The Hill reports. “To those who think it’s dead, I say think again,” said Harkin during the Bill Press radio program.

As chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Harkin said Democrats would likely try to pass the card-check measure during a lame-duck session. “We’re still trying to maneuver,” he said. Democrats might break apart the bill to get sections of the union-friendly bill approved separately.

Harkin has been positive about EFCA for a while even though it appears unlikely that the Senate could garner the 60 votes needed to pass the legislation. Many labor leaders are feeling that the bill in its current form will not pass during this Congress, but Harkin continues to push the legislation, such as during a talk to the United Auto Workers union.

The senator believes passage of the bill or parts of it could happen during a lame-duck congressional session at the end of 2010, which will happen after the November election. “A lot of things can happen in a lame-duck session, too,” he said, referring to card-check legislation.

Posted by Admin on 06/28 at 02:57 PM

California Union Rebuke (Read More…)

Voters rebel against project labor deals that raise costs.

This year’s growing revolt against government excess is resulting in all sorts of political surprises, and a pair of examples in southern California deserve more attention. The San Diego suburb of Chula Vista, where 61% of voters broke for Barack Obama in 2008, voted last week to prohibit the city from bowing to union demands. The city of Oceanside, also near San Diego and which also went for Mr. Obama in 2008, passed a similar measure with 54%.

By 56% to 43%, Chula Vista voted in favor of Proposition G, which bans project labor agreements. These rules let unions pre-emptively set the terms for municipal construction projects, such as requiring the contractors to consent to union representation, special benefits or pay collectively bargained wage rates. Such agreements increase taxpayer costs as competitive bidding between union and open shops is suppressed. From Boston’s Big Dig to the San Francisco airport, if it’s a project with egregious cost overruns, a project labor agreement is probably involved

Voters knew firsthand how costly and destructive this favoritism could be. In 2006, the developer Gaylord Entertainment announced plans to build a hotel and convention center in Chula Vista, only to cancel the project after two years in part because of union intransigence. With unemployment somewhere in the double-digits and cities statewide worried about bankruptcy, project labor agreements were an indulgence Chula Vista could no longer afford.


Posted by Admin on 06/22 at 09:40 AM