January 5th, 2009 at 3:50pm
There was a fascinating opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal last week about the Employee Free Choice Act. Better known as EFCA or the “card check,” if enacted, it would make it far easier for unions to organize non-union factories or companies. Last year it looked like a slam dunk that EFCA would be enacted in the new Congress this year. There’s strong support for it in the House and the Obama Administration indicated it would make this a priority. Democrats in the Senate also strongly backed the bill–as long as it looked like it would not pass.
But now that the new Administration and new Congress are about to take over in Washington, and enacting this legislation should be a sure thing, the Journal reports that many Democratic Senators are getting cold feet.
The reason is two fold: unions, especially the UAW are extremely unpopular, thanks to all the attacks on them by Republican southern Senators who dumped on them during the Big Three bailout talks. Also, EFCA eliminates secret ballots in holding union elections, and many people are very uncomfortable about getting rid of the secret ballot. Former Democratic Senator George McGovern is even doing television commercials attacking EFCA and pleading with liberals to oppose this legislation.
So the transplants and many automotive suppliers may heave a sigh of relief that they won’t get unionized, thanks to Democratic Senators who are suddenly no longer as supportive as they were just a month or two ago.