Change of Heart at AFL-CIO?

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jul 21, 2009 5:34 PM
As Democrats dropped a key part of a labor union bill the other day, the AFL-CIO seemed to be confused as to whether or not they support the compromise bill.

Depending on which spokesperson you heard from, you may have gotten a different answer.

They sounded optimistic at first ...
“‘This bill will bring about dramatic changes, even if card check has fallen away,’ said an A.F.L.-C.I.O. official who insisted on anonymity.” (Steven Greenhouse, “Democrats Drop Key Part Of Bill To Assist Unions,” The New York Times, 7/17/09)
The next time they checked in, things were still rosy ...
“The early reaction from AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale: ‘As School House Rock taught us this is the normal process of how a bill becomes a law.  We are very optimistic about passing the strongest labor law reform since the Wagner Act -- one that lets workers choose to join a union without intimidation or ha[r]rassment, ensures that workers who join a union get a first contract, and has meaningful penalties for violations.’” (Ben Smith, “AFL: Dropping Card Check Is ‘Normal Process,’” Politico, 7/17/09)
... But by afternoon on the 17th, the AFL-CIO seemed to backtrack on their support of compromise legislation.
“Labor leaders have not signed onto a possible Senate compromise to drop the card-check provision from the Employee Free Choice Act and expect senators will have to take a floor vote on majority sign up, sources said today.  ‘There’s been no agreement, and everything is still being discussed and on the table,’ said AFL-CIO spokeswoman Alison Omens.” (Kasie Hunt, “Labor Standing Fast On Card-Check Bill Vote,” National Journal’s Congress Daily, 7/17/09)