In The Hill, Kevin Bogardus reports that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has repeated his recent assertion that proponents will secure a vote on EFCA this year, even if by tacking it on to unrelated legislation:
One victory that has eluded the AFL-CIO so far is seeing the Employee Free Choice Act signed into law. Unions have struggled to find the 60 votes in the Senate to move the standalone bill, and discussions have moved to attaching it to another piece of legislation.
“Anything we can get it attached to. There are multitudes of things we can get it attached to, and we will. We will get it done and it will be a good thing for the country,” Trumka said. “Quite frankly, I don’t know when we ever had 60 votes.”
The union leader was bullish on its chances of passage, saying there will be a vote on the bill this year and it will pass.
ShopFloor.org reviews the prepared testimony presented at the House Education & Labor Committee’s April 30 hearing, excerpting portions of one management attorney’s submission:
Judging from the prepared testimony alone, the Employee Free Choice Act was not a dominant topic at a hearing Friday in Berkeley by the House Committee on Education and Labor, “Understanding Problems in First Contract Negotiations: Post-Doctoral Scholar Bargaining at the University of California.” That’s understandable, since negotiations concerning state employees are governed by state labor laws, not the National Labor Relations Act.
It will be interesting to see, once the transcript is available, whether EFCA was discussed much expressly, and to what extent proponents of the bill might use this hearing’s testimony as support for their claims about first contract negotiations. [More at our sister blog, LaborRelationsToday]
Finally, The Atlantic reports that former President Bill Clinton has recorded campaign ads for incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). Senator Lincoln, of course, has been a notable Democrat opponent of EFCA, and labor unions have staunchly supported her primary challenger Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D-AR). This race is one that EFCA observers will continue to keep a close eye on.