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Labor targets Dianne Feinstein for EFCA

By Josh Richman
Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 3:56 pm in Dianne Feinstein, Labor politics, U.S. Senate.

Big labor is trying to turn up the publicity heat on U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., this week by staging a two-day fast outside her San Francisco office in support of the Employee Free Choice Act.

Feinstein will be in Washington meeting with business leaders who oppose EFCA even as the Oakland-based California Labor Federation launches its protest Wednesday, with participants starting a fast at 10 a.m. and ending it Thursday evening; some protestors will stay overnight outside Feinstein’s office at One Post St. in San Francisco.

EFCA would let workers form unions by having a majority of employees sign petition cards stating their intention to organize — often called “card check” — without management requiring that a secret-ballot election be held; such elections would still be an option if the workers want it.

The bill also provides that if an employer and newly formed union can’t agree on a first contract within 90 days, either can ask for help from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and if that doesn’t produce a deal within 30 days, the dispute goes to binding arbitration; all time limits can be extended if the parties agree. And the bill would beef up penalties against companies that violate labor laws during organizing campaigns and first-contract bargaining.

The Senator in March backed off her previous support of EFCA, and is currently the only Congressional Democrat from California not on board with the bill. She has floated a sort of compromise in which workers could vote to form unions with mail-in ballots, thus alleviating some lawmakers’ stated concerns about protecting workers’ privacy from labor organizers.

The federation’s schedule says there’ll be a kick-off at noon Wednesday with Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski, San Francisco Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson, community leaders and others; a 4:30 p.m. workers’ rally in support of those fasting; and a 9:30 to 11 p.m. candlelight vigil. On Thursday, there’ll be another rally – this one with elected officials and clergy – at noon, and then a prayer circle to end the fast at 6 p.m.

UPDATE @ 1:51 P.M. TUESDAY: California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring just issued a statement on a similar, pro-EFCA rally taking place outside Feinstein’s office in Los Angeles:

“Today, according to the union bosses, ‘workers and community supporters’ will be demonstrating in support of the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA), which they claim will ‘help workers earn good wages, healthcare and retirement benefits.’ Unfortunately, it appears our friends have not been reading the news as of late, as unreasonable demands made by Big Labor have forced workers in the auto industry to lose their jobs and mismanagement of their programs have left worker benefit packages terribly underfunded.

“EFCA threatens to have the same affect on the small business community here in California and throughout the nation. By mandating contracts on employers and eliminating workers’ right to a private ballot, union bosses will decimate job creation and severely increase unemployment, slowing any economic recovery on the horizon.”

To clarify, EFCA wouldn’t be “eliminating workers’ right to a private ballot” – it would eliminate management’s right to a private ballot. Workers would still be able to choose a secret-ballot vote if they wish it.

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  • Elwood

    EFCA is a racket.

    It should be called the “Sign this card or I’ll break your head act.”

    If these “labor leaders” think they can pressure DiFi they’re even dumber than I thought.

  • http://sbcglobal.net nocaldiver

    Hey,
    I’ve gotten demotted and screwed on every bonus I’ve ever gotten thru a public agency with many years of dedicated service.

    I’m very tired of SCAB AND INCOMPETENT LABOR FROM OTHER COUNTRIES SCREWING THE AMERICAN WORK FORCE WHO HAVE WORKED LONG AND HARD TO ACHIEVE THE AMERICAN DREAM, WHOSE FATHERS AND GRANDFATHERS FOUGHT IN THE GREAT WARS, AND PAID THE PRICE, GENERATIONS OF TAXPAYERS, WHO NOW ARE SUPPORTING AN INFESTATION OF LEECHES WITH THEIR GRABBLING HOOKS OUT TO SUCK EVERY PENNY OUT OF OUR ECONOMY. IF YOUR NOT A LEGAL CITIZEN, GO BACK WHERE YOU BELONG, BECAUSE THAE LAST THING AMERICA NEEDS IS A BUNCH OF BUTT-SUCKING LEECHES SENDING OUR MONEY BACK TO YOUR FAMILIES IN 3RD WORLD COUNTRIES AND SCREWING OUR CITIZENS OUT OF JOBS AND HOMES. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER WITH YOUR OUW GOVERNMENT AND MAKE YOUR OWN COUNTRY A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE, TOO.

  • G.Michael Paine

    Who has gotten to Feinstein? It must be someone with a lot of money, I would suggest the lobby group for American Manufacturers.
    As a Democrat I am appalled.

  • Josh Richman

    Feel free to browse DiFi’s campaign finances by clicking here.

  • http://calitics.com Brian Leubitz

    Josh-

    Yup, the Open Secrets link you provided shows that 80% of her money is corporate. Combined with the money that her husband, Richard Blum, makes off of the defense industry and you have a most un-Democratic money profile.

  • LaurieC

    Secret ballots are sacred. People should not be intimidated into voting for anything because their vote will be public. The EFCA is un-american & anti-liberty. God Bless Feinstein if she has the backbone to stand against the union intimidation.

  • RR

    Heybig-assed labor, listen up! Ain’t no CIO around no more! No John L. Lewis, no Walter Reuther! Youse got that! Ax yo’ momma! If’n ain’t for blogs, youse be invisible to da voters! (Written in humourously illiterate English to make comprehension easier for the rank and file)

  • John W

    Even George McGovern opposes EFCA. There are definitely abuses on the part of management. But the right approach is to tighten and enforce the rules on unfair labor practices, not to pass the EFCA abomination.

  • RR

    Get a new pic of Di Fi. She doesn’t wear red all the time these days.