Card Check: Not a Propitious Time for a Rally

By February 3, 2009Labor Unions

From Politico:

On Wednesday, thousands of union members will flood the Capitol, where they will deliver 1.5 million signatures in support of a bill that would make it much easier for workers to unionize. The workers are expected to be joined by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), two prominent backers of the Employee Free Choice Act.

Who’s one of the key organizing groups behind the petition PR?

American Rights at Work…

And what’s the hot political story of the day? From The Weekly Standard, a piece by Hans A. von Spakovsky, a former Commissioner on the Federal Election Commission and Justice Department official.

A seemingly innocuous letter sent to the Clerk of the House of Representatives last Thursday by President Obama’s Secretary of Labor nominee Hilda Solis raises serious and troubling legal questions about her nomination and apparent violation of House ethics rules. Not only was she involved with a private organization that was lobbying her fellow legislators on a bill that she has cosponsored, but she apparently kept her involvement secret and failed to reveal a clear conflict of interest.

Solis was a co-sponsor in 2007 of the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act,” the card check legislation that would effectively eliminate the secret ballot and destroy the ability of employees to make an anonymous decision (without fear of retribution) on whether they want to join a union. She was also a co-sponsor of the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, legislation that would force states to allow public safety officers to form unions. At the same time, however, Solis was a board member of a pro-union organization, American Rights at Work, that has been lobbying Congress on both of these bills. According to a letter filed by Solis with the House Clerk on January 29, 2009, she was not just a director of the ARW, along with fellow travelers like David Bonior, Julian Bond, and John Sweeney, she was actually the treasurer. In other words, she is the official legally charged with the fiduciary duty of approving and signing off on all spending by the organization.

In solidarity! UPDATE (9:40 a.m.): The American Rights at Work news release hailing Solis’ nomination.

More on the rally, from an e-mail:


This Wednesday in Washington, D.C., workers, U.S.
representatives, senators and union leaders are meeting to
deliver more than 1 million cards and petitions to Congress
urging passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.

Join us and help amplify the voices of millions of workers
across the country.

Time: 12:30 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 4
Location: Upper Senate Park (Constitution and New Jersey
Washington, D.C.

Before delivering the petitions, we’ll hear from workers who
lost their jobs while trying to organize their workplaces as
well as union leaders and allies in Congress.

Our message is clear. Pass the Employee Free Choice Act and
restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain for a better
life. Our economy should work for everyone.

See you Wednesday!

In solidarity,

Marc Laitin
AFL-CIO, Online Mobilization Coordinator

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