Friday, March 13, 2009

Fierce Lobbying Greets Bill to Help Workers Unionize

Fierce Lobbying Greets Bill to Help Workers Unionize; The New York Times

Business and organized labor unleashed what each called its biggest lobbying effort in history on Tuesday as Democrats in the House and Senate introduced legislation that would make it far easier for workers to unionize.

Their target: a handful of moderate Democrats and Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania.

Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa and one of the bill’s chief sponsors in the Senate, said it was not clear the measure had enough support to overcome a Republican filibuster there.

Labor leaders hoped a two-pronged strategy would get at least every Senate Democrat to back the bill: President Obama’s full-throated support and letters, e-mail messages, phone calls and visits to inundate lawmakers.

If passed, the law would make the biggest changes in the nation’s labor laws since 1935. Organized labor has called it the No. 1 legislative priority. Corporate America has vowed to defeat it.

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