Democrats Gut Union Bill
Posted on Jul 17, 2009
Senate Democrats aren’t doing their friends in organized labor any favors. Lawmakers have decided to strip out the basic reform in the proposed Employee Free Choice Act that would make creating unions much easier—the whole point of the bill. But all may not be lost.
Andy Stern, president of the SEIU—a smart, growing and politically savvy union—says he expects “a vote on a majority sign-up provision in the final bill or by amendment in both houses of Congress.”
New York Times:
The so-called card-check provision — which senators decided to scrap to help secure a filibuster-proof 60 votes — would have required employers to recognize a union as soon as a majority of workers signed cards saying they wanted a union. Currently, employers can insist on a secret-ballot election, a higher hurdle for unions.
The abandonment of card check was another example of the power of moderate Democrats to constrain their party’s more liberal legislative efforts. Though the Democrats have a 60-40 vote advantage in the Senate, and President Obama supports the measure, several moderate Democrats opposed the card-check provision as undemocratic.
Flickr / aflcio2008
Without the “card-check” or “majority sign-up” provision, it’s unlikely the bill will achieve its goal of reversing the decline of unions, though there are other important reforms in the legislation.