WE HAVE MOVED: Please visit The Union News blog: here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Non-union labor outlawed by Oregon

Oregon government unions will have an easier time browbeating workers into organizing new bargaining units, under a bill that passed Monday. The controversial, anti-democratic "card-check" method will be used instead of government-run, secret ballot elections. Leslie Frane of SEIU Local 503, the largest government workers union, predicts the measure will amount to a statewide ban on non-union government workers.

House Bill 2891 would allow public workers in Oregon to organize if more than 50 percent of a workplace signs authorization cards. Known as card check or majority sign-up, the bill was pushed by the Oregon AFL-CIO. Currently, most unions organize through a government-supervised election process.

Congress this week is debating a similar measure for U.S. private sector workers.

The Oregon bill now goes to Gov. Ted Kulongoski, a former union lawyer, who plans to sign it, a spokesman said. The House passed the measure earlier this session.