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Congressional candidate Sam Bennett receiving labor support

09.26.08

October 2008, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Congressional candidate Sam Bennett receiving labor support

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

REGION, September 21st- Sam Bennett, Democratic United States House of Representatives 15th District candidate stated if elected on November 4th she would support the labor community better than incumbent Republican Congressman Charlie Dent.

Ms. Bennett, interviewed by the newspaper on September 18th, stated Mr. Dent’s labor voting record is terrible which includes voting in 2007 against the labor supported Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and raising the minimum wage.

EFCA passed the House of Representatives in March 2007, 241-185. However, Mr. Dent voted against the legislation that would replace how union elections are conducted in workplaces with a card check system. Despite being passed by the House of Representatives it failed to become law when the Senate refused to vote on the legislation. Organized labor has made the passage of the law a priority for the 2009 legislative session.

Ms. Bennett stated she supports the rescinding of the Executive Order signed by President Bush in 2001 banning the signing of Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s) for construction projects being funded by federal monies. Under a PLA, unionized workers are almost assured be be hired for construction projects.

According to Bill Newhard, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Lehigh Valley, many of the 20 affiliated building trades unions of the labor federation have contributed funds to Sam Bennett’s campaign and are asking their members to vote for her.

Ms. Bennett has received endorsements from 29 local and international unions and the building trade unions have contributed the most to her campaign, donating $64,000. Overall, the labor community has donated more than $100,000 to the Sam Bennett for Congress Committee.

“My opponent didn’t even support raising the federal minimum wage,” said Ms. Bennett.

In January 2007 the House of Representatives voted to raise the minimum wage by $2.10 an hour to $7.25 an hour over a two year period.

Mr. Dent wants a third two-year term representing the 15th District which includes Lehigh and Northampton Counties.

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