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SEIU President Calls Senators ‘Terrorists’ for Opposing the Card Check Bill (Click Here)

Thursday, January 28, 2010
By Joe Schoffstall

Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, took a swipe at Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) Tuesday, calling the senators “terrorists” for their opposition to the card-check bill, which Democrats call the Employee Free Choice Act.
“There are a lot of terrorists in the Senate who think we are supposed to negotiate with them when they have their particular needs that they want met,” Stern told Bloomberg News. His comments, which appeared in BusinessWeek magazine, apparently were prompted by the senators’ reluctance to support the union-sponsored bill.
Katie Packer, executive director of the Workforce Fairness Institute, which opposes the card-check legislation, roundly criticized Stern over the comments.
“My first reaction after hearing Andy Stern’s comments comparing the senators to ‘terrorists’ was that I was initially speechless,” Packer told “It’s unthinkable the images evoked in my head when I think of the word. To accuse someone in the Senate of being a ‘terrorist’ for sticking up for their constituents is unbelievable.”
Packer added: “Mr. Stern ought to lose his job over these comments, and at minimum he should lose his access to the West Wing,” referring to the release of the first visitor log by the White House, which, ironically, listed Andy Stern as the most frequent visitor.
Packer added: “I’m surprised this hasn’t received much media attention. Could you imagine if this were someone on the other side of the aisle who made these statements? The media would be all over it.”

Labor Agenda in Doubt as Republican Wins Senate Seat (click here)

By Holly Rosenkrantz

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg)—Labor leaders, who spent the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency taking advantage of renewed influence in Washington, may struggle to achieve their agenda after Republican Scott Brown won a Senate seat in Massachusetts.

“Labor is the real loser in last night’s election,” said Gary Chaison, an industrial relations professor at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, in an interview today.

Union leaders last week celebrated an agreement with the administration shielding union members from a proposed tax on high- cost health insurance plans. Now, those labor-led negotiations may be moot as Scott’s election throws Obama’s health insurance overhaul into doubt.

Brown’s takeover of the late Democrat Edward M. Kennedy’s Senate seat gives Republicans 41 votes in the chamber, enough to stall the legislation. Democrats were seeking ways to salvage the health legislation after months trying to assemble the 60-vote coalition generally needed for Senate passage.

“You can’t spend a year working on this and then say to voters we didn’t tackle health care somehow,” said Steve Rosenthal, a Democratic consultant and former political director of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor organization, in an interview. “If any worker spent a year working on a project and got nothing done, they’d probably be fired.”

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