Senate to Consider Bill on Forming Labor Unions The Senate is due to take up a bill that's critical to the survival of America's beleaguered labor movement. The bill would make it much easier to form a union, allowing workers to just sign a card instead of having to request a secret ballot election. President Bush has already pledged to veto it.
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Senate to Consider Bill on Forming Labor Unions

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Senate to Consider Bill on Forming Labor Unions

Senate to Consider Bill on Forming Labor Unions

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

This week in Washington, the Senate is expected to vote on a bill that would make it easier for workers to form a union. Businesses hope to kill that and President Bush has vowed to veto it, as NPR's Frank Langfitt reports.

FRANK LANGFITT: If workers want to form a union today, their employer can demand a secret ballot election. But unions say those elections are often unfair. They say companies target union sympathizers and bully workers during a drawn-out election process. Don Collet(ph) used to work for a truck rental company in Las Vegas. He describes what happened in a campaign a few years back.

DON COLLET: They would grab you by the arm and pull you outside and say I want to know what you know about the union right now and I want to know who's doing what. And they'd want names and they want dates. They would threaten to close the shop. They would threaten to take our benefits away from us. They would threaten pay cuts.

LANGFITT: Unidentified Man #1: What if labor bosses controlled class elections?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV AD)

LANGFITT: A boy in a black T-shirt and sunglasses explains the new rules to his incredulous classmates.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV AD)

INSKEEP: I want to show you that a vote for me is best for you. Miss Huggens(ph) has just agreed that there isn't going to be any secret vote. Just sign these cards, showing us who you like the best, my campaign committee will collect and count 'em.

LANGFITT: Frank Langfitt, NPR News, Washington.

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