Unions: good or bad? Discuss amongst yourselves

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Unions have been a hot topic—both in Washington and at McKnight’s.com.

If you don’t believe me on the latter, see our recent story about a merger among three nursing unions. Click here to read the story and the comments below it.

Certainly on Capitol Hill, the plot thickened this week with the Senate’s approval of Hilda Solis as Labor secretary. Inarguably pro-union, her selection has already stirred up controversy over the card-check issue.

And this week, Republicans introduced a bill that would maintain the formal election process for the formation of unions. It is a rebuttal to the Employee Free Choice Act, which is expected to be re-introduced soon. The legislation would allows workers to do away with the election process and, instead, check cards to unionize. Most believe the bill would make it easier for unions to form.

Andy Stern, the president of the Service International Union, and a lightning rod for controversy, said action on the bill could happen by August. He added that he believes the votes are there in the Senate to pass it.

We’ll see if that happens. There should be plenty of fireworks around this one.

Meanwhile, keep talking. It’s exciting to read so many interesting and insightful comments from readers. Clearly, nursing home providers have voiced their concerns about unions forming at their facilities. But there are other sides to the story, as readers have shared.

From where I sit, it seems that the real issue is about quality of life for employees. If providers keep their eyes on that, maybe unions could be seen more as a challenge to be welcomed than a threat to be feared.

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.