As prospects for Senate passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, in its current form, have waned, observers have turned their attention to alternative ways in which the bill’s components might be implemented.  The possibility attracting the most commentary lately has been the prospect of a new National Labor Relations Board majority, sympathetic to organized labor, using its administrative authority to enforce elements of EFCA. 

A piece in yesterday’s Las Vegas Sun, however, suggests another possibility — that some aspects of EFCA might be tucked into the Obama administration’s "jobs bill" currently being developed by the Senate:

On labor law, Bill Samuel, the AFL-CIO’s legislative director, said the union would try to enlist moderate Republicans but acknowledged the difficulty of achieving a bipartisan bill. He said the federation might consider “other tactics,” meaning the card-check legislation or key parts of it could be placed into a larger jobs bill this year.

Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, suggested that was the bill’s fate. “Maybe it won’t be card check,” he said, referring to the full bill. “But there are some things we need to do to straighten out the process for (union) elections and certification and first contract.”

Given the apparent unpopularity of card check among current Republican and moderate Democratic Senators, it is hard to see how adding those provisions advances a jobs bill purportedly intended to have bipartisan support.   We suppose we will see whether any of EFCA’s other provisions find their way into the jobs bill when it is introduced — perhaps as early as this week, weather permitting.

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