LA Times: Business groups have outmaneuvered workers groups, labor unions say their side has gotten disorganized, ‘card checked’

LA Times:

…key components of the bill are in serious jeopardy. And the legislation has produced one of the biggest surprises in Washington since Democrats swept the White House and Congress: The nation’s labor unions, which organized so effectively last year to help elect President Obama, have been outmaneuvered so far on their top priority by their opponents in the business community.

“We were outspent, outhustled and outorganized,” said one chagrined union advisor who was not authorized to speak by name.

“The legislation is severely challenged,” said John Wilhelm, hospitality president of Unite Here — the textile, hotel and culinary workers’ union. “The unified business community has been so strident about the issue, they have effectively achieved solidarity among Republican senators.”

The labor movement, somewhat divided, he said, has let Democratic support drift away.

No legislation is more important to the unions than the Employee Free Choice Act, which would ease the rules for forming bargaining units and, union leaders believe, help the depleted labor movement gain new members. Under its core provisions, unions could start a new bargaining unit at a company if a majority of workers simply signed cards requesting one, a process known as “card check.”

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