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Union-Organizing Bill Stalled As Senators Try to Work on Details

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Lawmakers who support the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation that would make it easier for unions to organize, continue to hold backroom negotiations to find a way to change the bill to avoid a filibuster in the Senate. Construction groups oppose provisions that permit elections without a secret ballot and require binding arbitration to settle disputes. Geoff Burr, vice president of government affairs with Associated Builders and Contractors, says even if some provisions were removed to reach cloture, once the bill goes to the floor, senators can reinstate those provisions by amendment. Kate Cyrul, a spokeswoman for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a senior labor committee member, says, “Negotiations are ongoing, and nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.”

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