Card Check: The Exodus Continues

By April 8, 2009Labor Unions

From Mickey Kaus, the reform-minded Democratic columnist, blogger, card-check observer:

‘Employee Free Choice’ Still on the Move! Yet another Democratic Senator, Michael Bennet of Colorado, declares “card check” unpassable. He also calls it an impediment to enacting health care reform–a potentially convenient “frame” for other wobbly Dems, Greg Sargent notes. … P.S.: At some point doesn’t the near-stampede of moderate Democrats to renounce the unions’ top agenda item cut into labor’s leverage when it comes to negotiating a compromise? Just asking! These Dems are defying labor. Are they paying a big price for it, or do they know labor needs them as much as they need labor? Lesson learned? … P.P.S.: Didn’t Robert Reich try to warn Andy Stern that this would happen? … P.P.P.S.: Or is labor angling for a pity vote–they’re about to be so humiliated, Dems will have to do something to help them? … 12:03 A.M.

That last post-post-post-script raises a serious point. If you’re organized labor and usual political allies in the Senate have spurned you on the Employee Free Choice Act, don’t you turn up the heat on them?  The argument would go:

You knew the Employee Free Choice Act was our priority, we helped get you elected, and now you bailed. We are going to withhold our support and even look at primary challengers. We might reconsider if you get behind the rest of our agenda, with no deviation. The RESPECT Act, you’ll need to cosponsor that. You know, the unionize supervisors law. Davis-Bacon, keeping adding that to every spending bill. Paycheck Fairness Act, H.R. 11, that’s a big one. We’ll be back with some others.

None of those bills or provisions are as much political poison as EFCA’s destruction of the secret ballot, so the members of Congress could sign off with less concern about constituent backlash.

Thus, even if organized labor is privately coming to grips with the Employee Free Choice Act being dead legislatively, they still see value in agitating for congressional action. It’s leverage.

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