Card-check, Silver Alert bills introduced in Congress

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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Senators and representatives on Tuesday introduced the controversial Employee Free Choice Act, also known as union card-check legislation. Several long-term care groups immediately issued statements against the bill.

"This legislation is wrong on policy, wrong on principle, and presents a clear and present danger to every working American who wants to exercise free choice in joining a union," stated Bruce Yarwood, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association. The National Center for Assisted Living and the Assisted Living Federation of America also object to the act.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) each introduced the bill to his respective legislative chamber. The legislation, which would eliminate the requirement of a secret ballot election for a union to form, has been a hot topic in Washington and around the country. Union leaders support the legislation and new Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has backed it in the past. The card-check system would make it easier for workers to organize. Employers would have to recognize a union if a majority of workers sign union cards in the presence of union organizers.

In other legislative news, Sens. Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Herb Kohl (D-WI) introduced the Silver Alert Act Tuesday. The House passed the legislation, which would create a local, state and federal response system for missing seniors, last month. Senators failed to act on the bill during the last session of Congress. Both Kohl and Martinez are optimistic that the bill can be passed this time around.

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