Anti-card check bill advances in Senate
Business and labor squared off Wednesday on a bill that would prohibit open or "card check" union-organizing drives in Florida. As expected, business groups prevailed, as the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee approved the bill on a 6-3 party-line vote.
The Republican-sponsored Florida bill is inspired by an effort by the Democratic-controlled Congress to force employers to recognize unions if a majority of workers organize through an open signup process. All future union elections in Florida would have to be by secret ballot only.
Speakers who turned out to testify in favor Wednesday represented the Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated Industries, Florida Chamber, Florida Retail Federation, Florida Home Builders Association and National Federation of Independent Business. Opponents included members of the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, Florida Education Association, United Transportation Workers Union and Communication Workers of America.
The bill (SJR 1908), by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, seeks to amend the state Constitution, which requires a three-fifths vote of both houses of the Legislature followed by 60 percent approval by voters in November 2010.