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'Card check' for union membership issue

Posted: January 30, 2009 8:56 p.m.
Updated: January 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The recent Senate confirmation hearing for Rep. Hilda Solis for the Secretary of Labor has become a platform for an issue that’s front and center after the presidential election.

That issue is “card check” for union membership. Before we start the full-scale character assassination, such as “Soprano Big Boss Labor Ads,” let’s reflect on something much greater in scope.

We have 13 living, former and current (Elaine Chao), Secretary of Labor heads. W. Willard Wirtz, 96 years old, served that position with distinction under presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

His successor, George Shultz, 88 years old, served from 1969-1970. James Hodgson, 93 years old, is another elder Secretary of Labor Chief in this list of 13 American statesmen.

The 13 come from both the Democratic and Republican parties. Rep. Hilda Solis will be the next great public servant to fill this honorable position.

As for “card check” for union membership, the pendulum on public policy and perception swings both ways over time. If one looks at the current elections, common sense dictates that organized labor may be on the rebound.
Our imperfect democracy is not fast food. Those who oppose union organizing should study the 100-years-plus history that organized labor and business have shared.

It has both triumphs and tragedies, great leaders and outright criminals, just like all of society past and present.
Let’s take a deep breath and try to keep our democracy civil.


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