Safety Workers Bill dropped for the moment, hard core anti-worker conservatives playing games

UPDATE To: Victory: Senate vote's overwhelmingly in favor of America's public safety workers (5/13/08)

According to the Associated Press this Bill has been dropped for the time being, from The NY Times (5/15/08):
Democrats drop first - responder bill
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Democrats on Thursday dropped a bill allowing all police, firefighters and other first responders to unionize after Republicans complained they didn't get enough time to offer amendments.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he did not have enough votes to force final consideration of the bill.

The two top senators on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., will try to work out an agreement before the bill comes back for consideration, Reid said.

The bill would guarantee public safety officers the right to join unions and bargain over wages, hours and conditions of employment. It also would ban them from going on strike.

Two states, Virginia and North Carolina, prohibit public safety officers from collective bargaining. At least 20 other states don't fully protect collective bargaining rights for firefighters, police officers, corrections officers and emergency medical service workers, supporters said.

States could exempt towns with fewer than 5,000 people or fewer than 25 full-time employees.

''I know there are diverse views on this issue,'' Kennedy said. ''We'll try to work out an orderly process and proceed.''
Sources say, that while there is strong bipartisan support, 11 Republicans are co-sponsors of the Bill, there is also fierce opposition, particularly from Enzi, DeMint and Vitter who have essentially been filibustering by amendment. The Bill will be brought up again right before or after Senate recess.

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