Labor organizations and other supporters of the controversial “card check” legislation were dealt a blow yesterday when a key lawmaker announced he no longer supports the measure.
Sen. Arlen Specter, who was an original sponsor of legislation that would allow employees to unionize using cards to show majority support for a union rather than through an election, said yesterday he would vote against cloture on the measure, giving GOP lawmakers sufficient votes to filibuster on the legislation, even if Democrat Al Franken wins the Minnesota Senate race.
“The problems of the recession make this a particularly bad time to enact Employees Free Choice legislation. Employers understandably complain that adding a burden would result in further job losses,” Specter said on the Senate floor yesterday. “If efforts are unsuccessful to give Labor sufficient bargaining power through amendments to the [National Labor Relations Act], then I would be willing to reconsider Employees’ Free Choice legislation when the economy returns to normalcy.”
Specters decision is based in part of political concerns. Facing increased pressure from both union groups and business organization, Specter would face a tough GOP primary season in his 2010 reelection bid.