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July 17, 2009
Card Checkoff provision dropped from EFCA?
It doesn't make the bill any better. In fact, the purpose of taking the anti-democratic card checkoff provision out of the Employee Free Choice Act is to make it a better sell to moderate Democrats and some GOP senators who like the union donations they receive:
There's still the government mandated arbitration that would force employers to take a union and other labor friendly provisions to worry about. Steven Greenhouse of the New York Times has the details of what's in and what's out:
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.
In its place, several Senate and labor officials said, the revised bill would require shorter unionization campaigns and faster elections.
While disappointed with the failure of card check, union leaders argued this would still be an important victory because it would give companies less time to press workers to vote against unionizing.
Some business leaders hailed the dropping of card check, while others called the move a partial triumph because the bill still contained provisions they oppose.
This bill is still a nightmare. It's like going back to the 1950's when the field was tilted so heavily in favor of unions. Life in America is about to get a lot more expensive for us while union coffers (and the pockets of labor bosses) will fill up. It will also add hundreds of millions of dollars a year to labor's political action activities - not that they needed it.