Earlier today, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) announced that she would oppose the Employee Free Choice Act — which would make it easier for workers to organize unions — should it come up for vote in the Senate in its current form. Lincoln, who is running for reelection in 2010, is the first Democratic Senator to openly oppose the legislation. The AP reports:
“I cannot support that bill. I cannot support it in its current form,” Lincoln told those gathered for the luncheon at the governor’s mansion. “I may not have said that as clearly before, but I’m saying it now.” … “It is one of those issues that creates great division, as well as distraction, at a time when we need all hands on deck,” Lincoln said. [...]
“We need workers and we need business at the table, if we’re going to put this economy back on track, and I don’t think the discussion on the Employee Free Choice Act has helped us do that.”
The Arkansas-based Wal-Mart corporation had hired a former Blanche Lincoln staffer to lobby against the Employee Free Choice Act. Notably, Lincoln waited until after Vice President Biden helped her raise $800,000 before announcing her opposition to a piece of legislation that both Biden and Obama strongly support.