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"Shockwaves" from the AFL-CIO

It was billed as an announcement "sure to send shockwaves up and down the political spectrum."

Whether the AFL-CIO accomplished that this morning is open to debate. But the union had a definitive message for members of the Maryland General Assembly still pondering how to vote on a bill that would force Wal-Mart to spend more on employee health benefits.

"The failure to stand with us means we will not be standing with you in the elections of 2006," Fred D. Mason Jr., president of the AFL-CIO's chapter operating in Maryland and the District, said at a news conference in Annapolis called to rally support for the legislation.

At issue this week is a vote to override Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s veto of the legislation last spring. The bill would force companies with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8 percent of payroll on employee health benefits or make a contribution to the state health program for the poor. As written, Wal-Mart is the only known company that would be affected.

By John Wagner  |  January 9, 2006; 4:28 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly  
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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it misleading to state that "Wal-Mart is the only known company that would be affected?"

I'm under the impression that there are other companies which fall into this category, but that Wal-Mart is the only one that doesn't already spend this much money on employee health benefits.

Posted by: philmo | January 9, 2006 5:16 PM | Report abuse

hence, wal-mart would be the only company affected by the law. i don't see it as misleading.

Posted by: John Hamilton | January 11, 2006 6:42 PM | Report abuse

In the future, please do not refer to the Maryland AFL-CIO as "union." It is not a union. The AFL-CIO is a federation of unions and speaks on behalf of its affiliated members. While a small point, it's like calling the Ravens a soccer team.

Posted by: michael grace | January 13, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

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