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Lincoln reinforces opposition to ‘Card Check’

U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., said in April 2009 she would not support the Employee Free Choice Act — controversial legislation pushed by her party that would make it easier for unions to organize.

Lincoln, who faces a tough reelection challenge in a right-to-work state, stuck to her guns and voted against allowing Craig Becker to be confirmed as a director on the National Labor Relations Board.

Becker, a pro-labor lawyer and advocate for Card Check, was nominated by President Barack Obama for the powerful five-person board. The board has judicial powers to decide on administrative proceedings related to conflicts under the National Labor Relations Act. Becker  has written that he would take his personal agenda to Washington.

The most controversial part of the Act would allow the designation of a union if a majority of employees sign pro-union authorization cards. Once the National Labor Relations Board validates the signatures, a union is created and collective bargaining with the employer begins.

Lincoln’s office issued this statement: “I believe there should be a balance between the rights of employers and employees in the workplace regarding labor laws and regulations that govern collective bargaining. After reviewing Mr. Becker’s record, I became concerned that his approach to these important issues could undermine the existing rules on union elections on matters that in my view should be addressed through the regular legislative process.”

U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., was the first and most prominent Democrat to break ranks and oppose Obama’s pick. U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., did not vote.

The Workforce Fairness Institute, a lobbying group formed to oppose Card Check, issued this statement: “Today’s bipartisan vote by Senator Lincoln in opposition to Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board was really a vote in strong support of small businesses struggling to survive in a challenging economic environment. In spite of immense pressure from union bosses, Lincoln did what was right for her constituents, both employers and employees in Arkansas.”

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It is possible Obama could use his power of recess appointment to place Becker in the post.

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Comments

smoking guns

A little research into the Workforce Fairness Institute raises puzzling questions regarding the special interests in the back and forth tug over the Employee Free Choice Act, rebranded as Card Check. Is this truly about Arkansas small businesses, or is it about Wal-Mart and Home Depot? If Senator Lincoln is truly concerned about balance, does it not make sense to have a pro labor advocate on the NLRB? I'm not certain this is a parade to get in front of as drum major. It seems to me that the deal was set for democrats up for election to make a grandstand gesture knowing full well that the recess appointment was under foot.

Card Check

If passed will eliminate the secret ballot and open up the unbridled intimidation by the union thugs. Hello Mexico. Don't know for sure about the grandstanding thing but I find it laughable that Blanche has moved so far to the center now that she is listening to the voters and not her dem bosses. Two-faced or about face? Which is it? Either way she is gone.

Thugs?

You are easily influenced by TV ads. You are living in the past where thugs faced off with the company goon squad to protect the workers. Card check levels the playing field.

Influenced

Not TV ads, actual experience with the thugs. Why would they be afraid of a secret ballot election?

Afraid

It is the workers who would fear retaliation from the employer if the boss knew who voted pro union.

Afraid?

Precisley why you need the secret ballot. Protects both parties. Then why are the unions working so hard to eliminate the secret ballot? Follow the money......

Why?

Why would a company be afraid of unionization,collective bargaining and an adequately compensated and protected workforce if that is what loyal hardworking employees want? Union organizers and observers of voting help to ensure voting takes place without company intimidation. It levels the playing field. The bottom line is that conditions, pay and benefits are generally better with union representation.

Why???

Have you ever had a union job? I have and it was a waste of money. The weekly union dues were a JOKE. Look at Fed-Ex, they are not union and seem to be doing much better than UPS. Unless you are a Temster, the union is not all it is cracked up to be.

Unions waste of money

I retired early from the International Union of Elevator Constructors. While I was an outsider due to rampant nepotism I still have a decent retirement, excellent health benefits and skills transferable to many other industries. While going to college I worked driving Teamster trucks in the summer and later worked as an Electrician through the IBEW when things were slow in my primary trade. When it comes to defined job descriptions and responsibilities and seniority, collective bargaining can't be beat for the working class. Moreover, the pride in my work and the paycheck honoring the work done give dignity to rolling up your sleaves. Pride and prosperity together allow the laboring class to be proudly humble not exploitedly humiliated. Too often lately workers are derided and considered foolish becase they make their living the old fashioned way doing honest hard work rather than "bubble investment". If you don' like unions consider them a necessary evil.

NO EVIL IS NECESSARY

"job descriptions and responsibilities" = excuse to do limited work... what is wrong with being an employee that does whatever your boss asks you to do? I worked as a supervisor of union employees and saw the waste created by the union first hand... and we wonder why our country is losing jobs "seniority" should be a joke... since when should seniority outweigh efficient job performance... whoever does the job best gets the work... "collective bargaining can't be beat for the working class" and as a result the auto industry had to be bailed out to cover the expenses... thanks "Moreover, the pride in my work and the paycheck honoring the work done give dignity to rolling up your sleaves" - How did the union help this? Shouldn't you have pride without the union? NO EVIL IS NECESSARY!

Scab Mentality No Evil

Yes you are!!Get real. An older worker cannot compete as well as a younger worker. So what do you do, throw people away? My trade had no seniority, so they allowed early retirement at less than 100% pension. How fair is that? You are out for yourself. I guess you are better than everyone else or you overwork yourself like the slave labor in China.

Life isn't fair!

Didn't anyone ever teach you that life isn't fair? I don't favor throwing a person away, but maybe they should be doing a different job. The bottom line to business is efficiency. Those who get the job done best, get the work. Where would the NFL be if players were allowed to claim seniority and refuse to come out of the game? They would get paid as long as they wanted to work but not based on their true worth to the organization. I'm out for keeping jobs in America and the only way to do that is to be efficient and turn a profit. Unions stand in the way of both.

Amen! I agree. Take a look

Amen! I agree. Take a look at Toyota....non-union, one of the worlds largest auto makers now. Did they take bailout money? No-way. Did they accept full responsibility for this massive recall? (i drive a GM, and worked union) You but they did, and i can only imagine they will come out stronger. Unions in the early 1900s were great, now they are just as overrated and currupt as the people they were fighting against to begin with.

What is the alternative??

Chickens are coming home to roost as long as they aren't flying too fast and the wings can't stop them.(Accelerator and Brakes!!)

Toyota vs. GM =Apples vs Oranges

Japan and the USA are two different societys. The Japanese have perhaps the largest and most successful middle class in the world despite their economic ups and downs. So the playing field is different. Maybe the crucial difference lies in military spending. Without a large military budget virtually every other nation in the world has an economic advantage over the USA. Less military spending would leave more money for other areas or even just more money in each individual's pocket.

I can agree with you that

I can agree with you that Japan does have little to no in regards to military spending. The fact the allies promised to protect them after WWII led to Japan developing new technology while the US spent $$$ on bombs, and military equipment during the cold war. But i dont agree with the fact that Toyota and GM are different, in regards to the US, when they both have the same playing field in the US. They are both going for the same US consumer, the Japanesse middle class has little to do with this. Many toyota cars are assembled here (put together not manufactured, many parts come from Japan, there is a huge difference in production vs assembly as it relates to jobs.)Toyota has something like a 14-15% market share on the US auto market. GM was just mismanaged and had too high of labor costs.
I can agree with you that Japan does have little to no in regards to military spending. The fact the allies promised to protect them after WWII led to Japan developing new technology while the US spent $$$ on bombs, and military equipment during the cold war. But i dont agree with the fact that Toyota and GM are different, in regards to the US, when they both have the same playing field in the US. They are both going for the same US consumer, the Japanesse middle class has little to do with this. Many toyota cars are assembled here (put together not manufactured, many parts come from Japan, there is a huge difference in production vs assembly as it relates to ...>> Read the entire comment.

Mismanaged+Too High Labor Costs

Well perhaps if resources were managed properly there would be enough left over to share with workers so they would not need a union.

A bailout by any other name is still a bailout.

http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/our-point-of-view.aspx?t=13955

Loan DOES NOT EQUAL Bailout

Yes, and seeking a BUSINESS LOAN is part of doing business. Your own article states it's not a loan to keep them in business (bailout) like GM and Chrysler took. A BUSINESS LOAN is not the same as a "PLEASE HELP BY GIVING US SOME MONEY OR WE ARE GOING TO GO BANKRUPT AND RUIN THE ECONOMY BECAUSE WE GAVE THE UNIONS TOO GOOD OF A DEAL - BAILOUT". Toyota isn't threatening to close if they aren't given cash. GM and Chrysler did make that threat. Big difference.

You said it before i did.....enough said

"Loan DOES NOT EQUAL Bailout Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 3:11pm. Yes, and seeking a BUSINESS LOAN is part of doing business. Your own article states it's not a loan to keep them in business (bailout) like GM and Chrysler took. A BUSINESS LOAN is not the same as a "PLEASE HELP BY GIVING US SOME MONEY OR WE ARE GOING TO GO BANKRUPT AND RUIN THE ECONOMY BECAUSE WE GAVE THE UNIONS TOO GOOD OF A DEAL - BAILOUT". Toyota isn't threatening to close if they aren't given cash. GM and Chrysler did make that threat. Big difference."

Drive a car today..

Drive a car today..made in the USA..Drive a car today made in the good old USA. You'll be safer and be proud to be an American! See your Chevy. Chrysler dealer today!

Life fair??

As long as you think so little of yourself that you are only a cog in a machine than you and your co-workers will be used up and trashed. Why is it that efficiency applies to the workers first and management last. Look who is the first to go when things slow down. Even the most efficient personnel will be let go in slow times due to short-term motivated management. The best years of your life should be worth more than your later years,yet the employer doesn't necessarily pay a premium for it. There is enough to go around, to be distributed among us all to have a better standard of living for the less fortunate and less capable in out "Christian" nation...if that is what you wish to call it.

Komrade

If everything is distributed evenly, then why would anyone be motivated to excel or work harder than the next guy. If you get the same for less effort then why bother? I know it is not that simple but your communistic thinking is is scary. The fact is life ain't fair. You do have the opportunity to improve if you possess the ability and desire to try. You can't expect things to be given to you just because... This is the entitlement attitude that has this country in trouble now. You want it handed to you for free so you continue to vote in the morons who feed that fallacy. And please do not belittle a "Christian" nation. I really don't think you would care for a truly secular or Islamic nation for instance.

"Handed to you for free"

So are you saying that each individual is worthless? Each of us has no claim to anything? If so then let's fix it.

Christian Nation:Separation of Church and State

I would prefer to keep religion in churches where they enjoy a tax exempt venue. Tax exemption=Separation of church from state. Keep it that way.

You are ANTIunion and don't even know it...

You said, "The best years of your life should be worth more than your later years,yet the employer doesn't necessarily pay a premium for it." Sounds to me like you just agreed that workers should be paid based on their efficiency. Isn't that the opposite of what you agrued earlier. You know why employers don't pay a premium for your best years vs. later years? UNIONS I've got no problem being a cog in the wheel. If I produce, I get paid, that is how life should be. I wish all companies could pay based on your true value to the company, piecemeal, etc.

NFL false analogy.

Health&Retirement benefits are deferred payment for work performed in the present.What is wrong with giving it your all while you are young and getting some of the compensation for that work later in life??

What?

What? How does this make the NFL a false analogy? The NFL proves my point that workers should be paid according to their efficiency/worth.

Overpaid Jocks

Pro atheletes are a bunch of overpaid egotisical freaks. Why do you think tickets to a pro football or basketball game of any type are so expensive.

Perception and Jealosy

You feel they are overpaid based on your perception of their value and a little jealosy thrown in the mix. However, the team owners probably don't feel that the players are overpaid because they keep signing the checks. You see, they are paid based on their value to the organization, not their senority. They are paid the big bucks because they create big value to their bosses.

Efficiency/Worth

What do you do with that fellow human being when he cannot produce like he did before? Your prime lasts a short time within a lifetime.

Business is survival of the fitest

It's up to them to find themselves a job they can do based on their ability. If they can't produce like they did before, then maybe they should be looking for another line of work. It sounds harsh, but it's reality. It applies to every line of work. It's each persons responsibilty to know their limits and find work that they can do in a competitive manner. Whatever profession you are in, keep in mind, YOU CHOSE IT. You weren't forced to do the work you do. Athletes have a limited lifespan, so too should most physical laborers. If you can't do the job, as your supervisor I would find someone who can. It's what I have to do to keep the company profitable, which in turn keeps all your peers employed. Sure, I could let you hang on, but in doing so I lower efficiency, jeopardizing profits and the jobs of all your peers and myself.

primary challenger

Rumors are spreading that Lt. Gov. Halter will challenge Sen. Lincoln in the Democratic primary. Maybe we won't end up with the Lincoln-Boozman battle of uncharismatic bores after all.

U.S. Blue Dog GOP Sen. Blanche Lincoln

U.S. Blue Dog GOP Sen. Blanche Lincoln, has SOLD -OUT The Middlle-Class Worker Once Again .... We are Going To Pay YOU Back The Way YOU Sold Us Out U.S. Blue Dog GOP Sen. Blanche Lincoln 4/6/09 Think Progress Lincoln announces opposition to Employee Free Choice. Earlier today, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) announced that she would oppose the Employee Free Choice Act — which would make it easier for workers to organize unions — should it come up for vote in the Senate in its current form. Lincoln, who is running for reelection in 2010, is the first Democratic Senator to openly oppose the legislation. The AP reports: “I cannot support that bill. I cannot support it in its current form,” Lincoln told those gathered for the luncheon at the governor’s mansion. “I may not have said that as clearly before, but I’m saying it now.” … “It is one of those issues that creates great division, as well as distraction, at a time when we need all hands on deck,” Lincoln said. [...] “We need workers and we need business at the table, if we’re going to put this economy back on track, and I don’t think the discussion on the Employee Free Choice Act has helped us do that.” The Arkansas-based Wal-Mart corporation had hired a former Blanche Lincoln staffer to lobby against the Employee Free Choice Act. Notably, Lincoln waited until after Vice President Biden helped her raise $800,000 before announcing her opposition to a piece of legislation that both Biden and Obama strongly support. Comments Blue Dog GOP Senator Blanche Lincoln, change your tune and support EFCA, or everyone will know that you are in the pocket of Wal-Mart, who is one of the biggest opponents of EFCA. Corporations do not vote, Senator, people do. If you put the interests of the corporations in your state ahead of the interests of your constituents (who are all people), then you are not doing your job. To Hell with what Wal-Mart wants and To Hell With Blue Dog GOP Senator Blanche Lincoln 2010 is Just Around The Corner I Will Do Everything in My Power to UN-SEAT YOU! EFCANOW

Blue Dog?

Keep it up and you will pass places like China and Mexico (where all the work went) on your way to hell.