Today’s New York Times reports that moderate Democrats have agreed to a "compromise" on the Employee Free Choice Act that they believe would garner the sixty votes needed to overcome a filibuster. The compromise would reportedly remove the card-check requirement from the bill and replace it with a requirement that elections be conducted within five to ten days after the NLRB receives a petition.
There is no word yet on when the revised measure would be formally considered, though the Times indicated that several other changes are still under consideration. Those changes include some form of union access to employer facilities and a ban on mandatory campaign meetings by employers. Compulsory interest arbitration apparently would remain in the bill.
Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) are said to support the compromise language. This compromise is not likely to be welcomed by the business community. But it also seems to create numerous practical problems. For example, any challenges to the propriety of a union petition would have to be resolved after employees vote. This is likely to lead to an increase in such challenges and a great deal of uncertainty among workers. Additionally, the compromise would require a massive overhaul of current NLRB procedures and staffing to accommodate the flurry of activity that must occur prior to an election being held.
More to follow here (and via our Twitter feed) as this story develops.
Others following the story this morning:
- "Card Check: NYT Reports ‘Compromise’, i.e., Disguised Card Check" — NAM’s ShopFloor.org
- "AFL: Dropping Card Check is ‘Normal Process’" — Politico