Sen. Ben Nelson seems to get the Card Check quandary:
You might think that statement would come from a Republican, but it’s actually from a Democrat.
Reports that there might be a deal near on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), or “card check,” as critics and now some proponents call it, appear to be vastly overwritten.
Sen Tom Harkin, D-IA, a lead negotiator, is in talks with the Senate’s newest Democrat, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, but there are MANY more pieces to this complicated puzzle, namely a number of other Dems who do not want this. Harkin and Specter have known each other for decades, so it is natural they would work together, but Harkin has a heavy lift to get a deal out of this Senate.
Sen Ben Nelson, D-NE, told me he does not see a deal happening this year at all. He sees no way to put a compromise together that’s pallatable.
“You take away the arbitration issue, and you still have the ‘card check’, so that doesn’t work. You take away the ‘card check’ and you still have the arbitration problem. And if both go away, you’re left with nothing. It’s a fool’s errand to do this. I just don’t see an agreement happening,” Nelson said.
Harkin must please a number of skeptical Dem colleagues in the Senate, among them, Dianne Feinstein (CA), Jim Webb (VA), Blanche Lincoln (AR), Mark Warner (VA), and Mike Bennet (CO).
One of them, who asked to remain anonymous because of the intense lobbying campaign underway by big Labor, tells Fox, “You cannot find a way to make this work. I’ve heard all the arguments, and I just don’t see it.”
Still, Harkin said he’s trying. He has Labor and a number of business concerns in the loop and is working hard to find a compromise.
However, a senior Senate Dem Appropriations Cmte aide tells Fox, “This isn’t happening anytime soon, if it even happens.” And this aide works for a Dem who supports EFCA.
“Card Check” is a top priority for labor unions this year. It is a bill that would make it easire for workplaces to unionize. Under the legislation, workers would sign cards rather than by voting in secret ballot elections to start a union. The provision also calls for mandatory arbitration to set the terms of the first contract if companies and unions can’t agree within 120 days.