Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Card Check Might Be Collateral Damage

The Las Vegas Sun featured an article today making the case that EFCA is “is in severe jeopardy, in large part because of high-profile infighting among some the country’s most progressive unions.”

This of course is in reference to the UNITE HERE civil war between John Wilhelm, Bruce Raynor, and their respective factions. The conflict has become a distraction on attention and resources for the unions. The SEIU has played an aggressive role in helping Raynor and his supporters break away from UNITE HERE and organize with Workers United, an SEIU affiliate. All of this has left card check, as the Sun article refers to it, as “collateral damage.”

The Sun contrasts the efficacy of the business community with the impotence of the labor movement on EFCA:

Labor is losing the message war. Business is carrying the day, using the fight to taint unions in general and further its argument that labor organizations are rife with intimidation.

The business lobby, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has solidified Republican opposition, won over key Democratic votes and mounted a multi-million-dollar ad campaign while unions are spending precious resources on internal squabbles.

Wilhelm himself said that he doesn’t believe card check will pass. He also had some kind words for the SEIU, saying Stern’s union stood  “for the suicide of the labor movement.” Well, with friends like that, who needs enemies?

But opponents of EFCA shouldn’t rest too comfortably. It was just yesterday that Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa said that the “news of EFCA’s death is greatly exaggerated.”

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