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Will Sen. Lincoln kill the Employee Free Choice Act?

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The U.S. Senate showdown over the Employee Free Choice Act just got a little tougher: Arkansas Dem. Blanche Lincoln has gone on record saying that the EFCA "isn't necessary, bringing the number of "yay" Senators down to 57, three short of the 60 needed to prevent a filibuster.

The EFCA would allow unions to represent workers by getting sign-up cards -- "card check" -- as opposed to drawn-out elections in which companies frequently subject workers to harassment and intimidation, the recent battle at Smithfield Foods in North Carolina being a sharp example.

Over 60 million employees say they'd join a union if they could, but workers are subjected to almost relentless attacks during union organizing campaigns:

  • 30% of employers fire pro-union workers.
  • 49% of employers threaten to close a worksite when workers try to form a union, but only 2% actually do.
  • 51% of employers coerce workers into opposing unions with bribery or favoritism.
  • 82% of employers hire high-priced unionbusting consultants to fight union organizing drives.
  • 91% of employers force employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with their supervisors.

As Matthew Yglesias points out, the Arkansas Senator's ambivalence towards unions might have something to do with the largest company headquartered in her state:

After all, non-union Arkansas is a bastion of prosperity! Well, actually, no, it's poverty-stricken and features ultra low wages. But guess who likes low wages? Wal-Mart. And guess who loves Wal-Mart? Arkansas politicians like Blanche Lincoln.

The Center for Responsive Politics shows that Sen. Lincoln has indeed been a direct beneficiary of Wal-Mart's political largesse, with donors associated with the company giving Lincoln over $35,800 in her career.

Lincoln has also received $44,000 from Tyson Foods, the poultry giant with its own checkered record of worker abuses and hostility to unions.

Workers in Arkansas could use more unions. Arkansas has the 5th-highest rate of poverty in the country. The state's median income ranks 48th in the nation; only Mississippi and New Mexico are lower. Per capita income ranks 48th in the nation. Nationally, the "union advantage" that results from having a union is about a 12% boost in wage levels.

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re: Will Sen. Lincoln kill the Employee Free Choice Act?

Aren't tactics like telling workers they'll close the plant if they vote for a union a violation of some law or other? I suppose these days complaints to the NLRB are pretty worthless, but am I wrong?

re: Will Sen. Lincoln kill the Employee Free Choice Act?

There's one way for Dem's to defeat Senator Lincoln and the Republican minority on EFCA and other vidal legislation is for Senatot Reed(no guts) to impose the Nuclear Option. These are extraordinary times and call for extraordinary measures.

re: Will Sen. Lincoln kill the Employee Free Choice Act?

Sounds like it's time for the working people of Arkansas to put Blanche Lincoln on the streets and replace her with somebody who isn't going to prostitute herself to corporate America.

re: Will Sen. Lincoln kill the Employee Free Choice Act?

No nukes necessary, just make the pubes actually filibuster instead of giving up when you don't get a cloture vote.

The only problem with the vast Democratic wins in the 2006 and 2008 elections is the loss of Repub. moderates. I don't mind centrists, but I haven't found to many centrists who are on the lobbying payroll of walmart - Yay "guest" workers!

re: Will Sen. Lincoln kill the Employee Free Choice Act?

As long as Harry Reid leads (?) in the Senate the Dems will get rolled every time.

DITCH HARRY!

re: Will Sen. Lincoln kill the Employee Free Choice Act?

I'll vote for that DITCH HARRY

re: Will Sen. Lincoln kill the Employee Free Choice Act?

EFCA is bad legislation. Sen Lincoln is right on in ditching this proposed legislation because it puts union bosses in control of union members rather than the other way around. Only Chicago thugs win if this passes.

re: Will Sen. Lincoln kill the Employee Free Choice Act?

Senator Lincoln,
Please vote against the "Employee Free Choice Act".
Elizabeth H. Brave

re: Will Sen. Lincoln kill the Employee Free Choice Act?

Carson City and beyond! Sharron Angle really shocked The Democrats and oh yeah will she be a treat to follow. This is going to be a bloody election with Harry Reid. Tough choice between Harry's tax and pork style and her need to eliminate the Department of Education. Tough thing being a violet state. Feel so conflicted here in Goldfield, Nevada. Who is going have the best outcome on Yucca Mountain?