Business groups outgun labor in card-check battle, news report finds

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Business groups appear to be gaining ground against organized labor in an effort to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the card-check bill, according to a recent update on the issue.

Union leaders feel they have been "outspent, outhustled and outorganized" by big business, the LA Times reports. Efforts from business groups have been especially effective in Arkansas, where letter-sending campaigns, hired lobbyists and personal visits to lawmakers have persuaded both Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D) and Mark Pryor (D) to rescind their support of the bill. Business groups, which represent nursing homes' interests on this issue, primarily oppose the card-check provision of EFCA, which would make it easier for workers to form unions.

Although EFCA is the labor movement's number-one legislative priority, union groups backed off pressure on lawmakers to pass the bill after President Obama took office. It was a move that allowed the business groups time to focus their own efforts, according to the Times. One other mistake of the unions was a disunity of message, the Times suggests. The Service Employees International Union, which represents a large number of healthcare and long-term care workers, indicated an openness to compromise that other labor groups did not share. The bill's sponsors and other former Democratic supporters are now in the process of reworking the bill to include more business-friendly measures.