Was a New York Times report yesterday about the demise of card check — Section 2 of the Employee Free Choice Act — entirely accurate, premature or something different altogether?
At the TAPPED blog, Tim Fernholz of progressive journal The American Prospect asks:
As an inside-baseball side note, I’m interested in why Steve Greenhouse, the Times labor reporter, went with this story now. There hasn’t been an official announcement, and Harkin’s press secretary wouldn’t confirm it, and those same half-dozen labor-friendly senators have been talking about jettisoning card check for months. What was the decision point?
This has led some — including David French of the International Franchise Association and Rob Green of the National Retailers Federation — to speculate whether this "leak" to a veteran labor relations reporter at the Times truly indicates surrender on the issue of card check — or is rather a "trial balloon" or similar political strategic ploy. Sam Stein of The Huffington Post notes:
The process was supposed to go on in secret, but discussion were leaked to the Times on Thursday. An anonymous official with the AFL-CIO, was quoted in the piece prompting speculation that the union federation was responsible for the leak.
Regardless of the current status of this provision in the bill, SEIU President Andy Stern has made clear in a statement that labor expects a litmus test vote on card check before 2010 elections:
"As we have said from day one, majority sign-up is the best way for workers to have the right to choose a voice at their workplace. The Employee Free Choice Act is going through the usual legislative process, and we expect a vote on a majority sign-up provision in the final bill or by amendment in both houses of Congress."