Thursday, September 07, 2006

Vilsack reaches out to unions

As much as I think Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack has his head up his ass most of the time a Jane Norman story in this morning's edition of The Des Moines Register relates that once in awhile he pulls it out for a breath of fresh air.
Washington, D.C. - Leaders of the labor movement and the centrist Democratic Leadership Council on Wednesday put aside historic differences and pledged to push for federal legislation that would allow workers to sign up for unions without a formal election.

The labor leaders said the breakthrough was spearheaded by Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, the chairman of the council who's exploring a bid for the Democratic nomination for the presidency.

The bill backed by Vilsack is called the Employee Free Choice Act, which is co-sponsored by 43 members of the Senate, led by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and 215 members of the House, led by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.

Under the proposal that labor leaders and the council favors, once a majority of employees have signed cards asking to organize, the National Labor Relations Board would investigate and allow the workers to be represented by a union.

Unions have been certified exclusively by "secret" ballot since the 1947 the Taft-Hartley, or right-to-scab, Act went into effect. Prior to that under the Wagner Act card checking as a recognized form of union certification. So, in effect, with the Employee Free Choice Act labor law in the U.S. is going back to the future.

This is a plus for Vilsack, but he's still the DLC kingpin so he is still not to be trusted.

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