Card Check: Senator Lincoln’s Opposition

By April 7, 2009Labor Unions

Covering the announcement by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) that she will oppose the Employee Free Choice Act, The Hill cites her statement:

“I consider both the labor and the business communities to be my friends.  However, now that we need all hands on deck, including business and labor, to get our economy moving again, this issue is dividing us,” Lincoln said in a statement. “While I may not have been clear about my position in the past, I am stating today that I cannot support Employee Free Choice Act in its current form and I can’t support efforts to bring it to Senate consideration in its current form.”

And…

“I will consider alternatives that have the support of both business and labor but my pledge today is to focus my full attention on the priorities I have mentioned that affect every working family in Arkansas,” Lincoln said.

When Senator Specter (R-PA) announced his opposition, organized labor generally made nice, trying to keep the lines of communication open with him. But with Lincoln…

“Senator Lincoln’s decision to stand with Big Business over working families at a time when CEOs make 344 times that of their average employee, and as jobs disappear by the minute, is disappointing at best. Yet we share Majority Leader Reid’s belief that our efforts to improve the working conditions and lives of millions of Americans through the Employee Free Choice Act will not be derailed,” said Jon Youngdahl, political director for the Service Employees International Union.

Unions say Lincoln abandons working families. That’s tough. (UPDATE: A vague statement, that. What we meant was, that’s certainly harsh rhetoric from the unions.)

Meanwhile, from the Arkansas Lincoln to the Nebraska Lincoln, where Stewart Acuff whistles past labor’s political graveyard. From the Journal-Star, “Unions near victory, labor official says”:

Organized labor is “very close” to winning a breakthrough legislative victory that could help restore a healthy middle class, a top national union official said in Lincoln.

“We want to reverse a 30-year assault on the freedom to form unions and bargain collectively,” said Stewart Acuff, special assistant to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.

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