Card Check: Colorado, Alabama, THREATS

By April 11, 2007Labor Unions

The labor unions are putting heavy pressure on Colorado politicians, Democratic politicians at least, to toe the line on their political agenda. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) is getting grief for declining to cosponsor S. 1041, the unscrupulously named Employee Free Choice Act. The 2008 Democratic Convention is scheduled to be held in Denver at a non-union arena, and newly elected Gov. Bill Ritter took a gutsy stand by vetoing a bill that would have helped labor push through organizing elections. The Hill reports that Teamsters leader James Hoffa grabbed Ritter in Washington recently to express his displeasure.

Hoffa also confronted Ritter over his vote at the Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington late last month. In an interview with the Post, Hoffa said he told Ritter that if he and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper didn’t work out some key issues, the convention in Denver would be plagued by protests and picket lines.

Meanwhile, in Birmingham, AL, the unions are also gearing up after House passage of the “card check” bill, which would invariably eliminate secret ballots in the workplace.

Greg England, rapid response coordinator for United Steelworkers District 9 in Birmingham, said the House vote was a major victory for unions.

“Now the senators will have to show if they are for the working families in America or against us,” he said.

Awful lot of threatening going on. Seems almost like a culture of threats, directed from the top on down. No better way to spread that culture to the workplace than elimating secret-ballot elections, making each individual employee subject to intense, one-on-one union lobbying during organizing campaigns.