Labor reacts to bid to kill Employee Free Choice Act in Florida
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02/19/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

Hoping to head off a controversial organized-labor bill in Congress, two Republican legislators today introduced a constitutional amendment that would require secret ballots in union elections.

Naples Sen. Garrett Richter and House Majority Leader Adam Hasner announced their proposal in Tallahassee, where they said that without the amendment, employees could be pressured by their bosses or union organizers to vote for or against representation.

But organized Labor strongly disagrees.

Rich Templin is a spokesman for the Florida AFL-CIO. He says there was nothing true about the Employee Free Choice Act as articulated by Richter and Hasner.

Labor says that if 30 percent of a workforce signs cards seeking union representation, there can be a secret election, and if 50 percent sign up, the employee has a choice of recognizing those cards as the election or holding a secret ballot.

Monica Russo is with the Service Employees International Union in florida. The constitutional amendment would deny florida workers the free choice option, pre-empting federal law if it were to passed by Congress.

President Barack Obama and many congressional Democrats said they supported the law last year, but it’s not clear when it will be brought up in the current session of Congress.

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