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Last week, a memo was released that circulated amongst Republican Party senators prior to the vote on the proposed auto bailout. The memo advocated stopping the bailout as an opportunity to ‘take their first shot at organized labor’, and the Senators were able to filibuster the bill, forcing President Bush to use money from the $700 B financial bailout package to finance GM and Chrysler and save them from bankruptcy. Ron Blackwell opines that the GOP’s real target is the Employee Free Choice Act, a piece of legislation which would drastically change existing regulations around union organizing and has the support of President-elect Barack Obama.

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Ron Blackwell is Chief Economist for the AFL-CIO, where he has also worked as Director of Corporate Affairs. Before coming to the AFL-CIO, Blackwell was assistant to the president of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, and chief economist of UNITE (Union of Needletrades, Textiles and Industrial Employees). Prior to joining the labor movement, Blackwell was an academic dean at the New School for Social Research in New York (now the New School University), where he taught economics, politics and philosophy.