FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 6, 2009
PA Chamber to visit DC to urge U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, Congressional delegation to oppose ‘union card check’ legislation
Chamber stresses danger posed to worker privacy and jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry will lead a delegation of more than 70 local chamber of commerce officials and individual business leaders to Washington, D.C. on March 9 and 10 to urge Pennsylvania’s elected officials to oppose proposed "card check" union organizing legislation. The highly controversial bill would effectively strip employees of a private ballot in union organizing drives, hand the federal government power to dictate workplace pay and benefits, and force unfair mandates on small businesses.
"We look forward to what we hope will be a productive dialogue with Senator Arlen Specter and all of Pennsylvania’s federal lawmakers on the negative implications the card check bill poses for the Commonwealth’s workers, businesses and overall economy," said Gene Barr, PA Chamber vice president of government and public affairs. "Our message is clear: oppose any advancement of this anti-worker, anti-business bill."
Chamber representatives will be visiting Specter, among others in the Pennsylvania delegation, because he is included in a handful of senators yet to take a definitive public stance on the bill.
The legislation fell just nine votes shy of moving forward in the Senate in 2007. This year, Specter’s vote will be critical in determining whether supporters will gather the necessary 60 votes to advance the bill.
The card check bill has yet to be formally introduced in either the U.S. House or U.S. Senate, though top lawmakers said in early February the House bill would come "within weeks." Observers have speculated that the failure to introduce the legislation signals weaker support for the bill in Congress than in 2007.
In addition to the PA Chamber, state and local chamber of commerce representatives from Virginia, Nevada and Louisiana will visit Washington to voice opposition to union card check to their elected officials. Senators from those states have also not taken definitive stances on the legislation.
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state’s largest broad-based business advocacy association in the Commonwealth, with its members comprising nearly 50 percent of the private workforce.