SEIU targets Chamber in card-check battle

One of America's largest unions is targeting a prominent opponent of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would make labor organizing easier.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) released a new television ad Wednesday that goes after the legislative record of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Saying the business association has lobbied against health insurance for children, increasing the minimum wage and granting family leave, SEIU argues in the ad it would make sense that the Chamber would oppose "better pay and health benefits for America's workers."

Unions believe EFCA, often called "card-check," would let workers negotiate for better wages and benefits since the bill would ease organizing rules enough for them to secure collective bargaining rights. Business groups have disagreed, saying the legislation would lead to more union strikes and slow down industry.

Entitled "Bad Company," the ad is slated to run in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Louisiana, Virginia and North Dakota.

The SEIU ad follows on the heels of an announcement by the Chamber Wednesday for a vast grassroots campaign to support free enterprise. Expected to spend $100 million, the Chamber plans to finance lobbying efforts, national ads and grassroots campaigns from now until the 2010 elections in order to "defend and advance economic freedom," said Tom Donohue, the group's president, in a statement.


-- Kevin Bogardus