From TPMDC, a statement from John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO:
Today’s announcement by Sen. Specter – a sponsor of the original Employee Free Choice Act who voted for cloture in 2007 – is frankly a disappointment and a rebuke to working people, to his own constituents in Pennsylvania and working families around the country.The fact is the Employee Free Choice Act has more support than ever — large majorities in both houses of Congress, the President and Vice President, 73 percent of the public. We will continue to work with Democrats and a number of Republicans to create commonsense solutions to the decades of corporate power.
We do not plan to let a hardball campaign from Big Business derail the Employee Free Choice Act or the dreams of workers.
There are deep flaws in our labor laws, as Sen. Specter acknowledged today. The freedom to join together and bargain with employers for fair wages and better benefits is critical to rebuilding our middle class – and now is exactly the time to do it, as we begin to revive our economy in a way that works for everyone. In the coming weeks, we will be escalating our campaign and finding the best ways forward to a balanced, strong economy.
The “hardball campaign from Big Business” that Sweeney refers to involves tens of thousands of employers AND employees exercising their First Amendment rights, objecting to a terrible idea. It’s fundamentally not different than organized labor’s campaign, really, save that the economic and democratic arguments are on our side. And we don’t have to deprive people of the secret ballot to make our case.
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