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Syrian military moves in as the U.S. moves out; and Colorado looks at Public Option health plans. Plus, Indigenous Peoples Day.

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Tonight, 12 candidates will take the fourth Democratic debate stage in Westerville, Ohio. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will be there, despite considering a boycott of the event.

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ND Workers Vow "Free Choice Act" Will Return

June 27, 2007


The demise of the pro-union "Free Choice Act" in the United States Senate yesterday was overshadowed by the immigration debate, but labor groups say the bill won't be dead for long. The "Employee Free Choice Act" would have certified a union when a majority of workers signed authorizing cards, making secret elections optional. Critics called it "undemocratic." Rick Pfenning of the Missouri Slope Central Labor Council says workers can be too easily intimidated in the current system, and the change was just common sense for today's workers.

“There are a lot of legal ploys to avoid an election, but if you've got all your cards signed, and a majority of people have signed them, that would indicate to most reasonable people that the employees there want a union.”

The act fell nine votes shy of forcing the Senate to end debate and vote on the bill. Both sides accuse the other of worker intimidation. Pfenning notes that, given the number of employees who are regularly fired to trying to organize a union, the new act would have balanced the playing field for workers.

“If you don't want the union there, you don't sign the card. And that's fine, that's your right and nobody is going to say anything about it.”

North Dakota's senators supported the proposal. Pfenning hopes it will come before a more favorable Congress in the future.

John Robinson/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - ND