by Michael Fox
It would be unrealistic for me to expect anyone reading this blog not to be suspicious of any claim I might make to objectivity on labor and employment issues — but the Employee Free Choice Act, really is a bad piece of legislation. Fortunately, appearances at today's rallies in support of it and tomorrow's vote in the Senate is a free ride for Democrats, particularly those seeking their party's presidential nomination. They can vote for the legislation and not have to endure the consequences if conventional wisdom holds and the cloture vote fails, effectively marking its legislative end in this Congress.
Even John J. Sweeney, the AFL-CIO's president is sounding like a Cubs fan: “This is really about 2009,” Mr. Sweeney said. “But it’s important that we show the country that we have majority support.” See the NYT's story, Clash Nears in the Senate on Legislation Helping Unions Organize. Just a small comment on how poorly named the legislation is can be found in the NYT's story, which uses the name only in connection with Senator McConnell's description of it as "Orwellian." Instead, the NYT just refers to it as "organized labor’s top legislative priority."
As I have said, I won't try to make the case that the current system is without flaw. But this Act is not the fix, not now, not ever.
Updated, June 27, 2007: The vote actually slipped almost a week, but at least I had the outcome correct. See Senate Republicans Block Bill on Unionizing in today's NYT. Note how both parties are now using this to generate campaign contributions, which means that there is little chance of a bipartisan effort to come up with a good bill until after the next election cycle. And probably very little chance, even then.