It appears unlikely, but not impossible, that the Senate will enact a version of the Employee Free Choice Act this year. Whatever the legislation’s fate, recent news reports make it clear that a candidate’s position on the anti-democratic card check legislation will be a major campaign issue, not just in the fall election but also in Democratic primaries. For example:
- Denver Business Journal, “No consensus on ‘card check’ in meeting between Bennet, Colorado business leaders“: “A group of Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry leaders and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet could not find common ground Tuesday on the “Employee Free Choice Act,” the so-called “card check” bill to make it easier to form union locals, but both sides still called the Washington meeting productive.”
- The Hill, “Halter calls for ‘compromise’ on card check“: “As unions pledged millions to help his primary challenge [against Sen. Blanche Lincoln], Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D) offered a muddled endorsement of a key labor bill. When asked about the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) during an interview on MSNBC Tuesday, Halter declined to address the most controversial provision – known as “card check” — instead saying he supports a compromise.”
- New York Times, “Still With Obama, but Worried“: “Mr. Trumka [of the AFL-CIO] said that unions would not campaign for Democrats who had done little for labor, especially on issues like the card-check bill. Even though Mr. Brown’s victory denied the Democrats the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster, Mr. Trumka voiced confidence that Mr. Obama and the Democrats would find a way to enact that bill, the Employee Free Choice Act.”
- The Examiner, Mark Tapscott, “Business leaders swarm hill to fight card check“: “Executives and owners representing thousands of small and medium-size businesses from eight states flooded Capitol Hill yesterday with one message for their senators — don’t even think about trying to revive the supposedly dead Employee Free Choice Act. An estimated 250 of the lobbyists-for-a-day represented state-level chambers of commerce from Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia.” The fly-in is organized by the U.S. Chamber;the state chambers in Arkansas, Delaware and North Carolina are also members of National Association of Manufacturers’ State Associations Group.
- Wall Street Journal Washington Wire blog, “AFL-CIO Readies ‘Firewall’ Strategy for Fall Elections,” also noting Big Labor’s pressure on the White House for a recess appointment of SEIU attorney Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board.
UPDATE (10:55 a.m.): Also, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, “Thune warns against efforts to make it easier to create labor unions“
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