Joe Biden Promises Crowd That EFCA Will Pass
In Pennsylvania today, Joe Biden said that EFCA will become a reality.
Biden attended the annual labor parade in Pittsburgh, which was attended by thousands of people — many union members. EFCA also known as “card check” is one of the pieces of legislation that President Obama promised would pass while on the campaign trail.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, these were Biden’s words about the Employee Free Choice Act:
“If you wanted to join a union, you could join a union and not be stopped by employers,” Biden said. “We’re going to get that done with the help of Arlen Specter.”
Arlen Specter is one of EFCA’s main sponsors, but his support for the legislation has fluctuated due to fears from the GOP that the bill would “kill jobs.” Unions argue that EFCA would actually help lift American families out of poverty and into the middle class. Unions jobs tend to pay better and offer benefits. EFCA would make it easier for workers to form a union by using only card check — the process where workers sign a card to agree to have a union, instead of the longer election process.
Unions currently are putting pressure on Specter and on California Senator Dianne Feinstein to support the legislation and ensure its passing. Pro-business interests are trying to get the card check provision to be dropped from the legislation. Compromise has been tough and Democrats have come up with alternatives to save the good that EFCA would bring by proposing that elections be done by mail instead of at the workplace, thus protecting workers from employer retaliation.
Biden’s words today offer encouragement to unions to not give up on Congress or the White House. With health-care reform in Obama’s plate, EFCA will have to wait a bit longer. Already the political environment for the pro-union legislation has been overwhelmed by fear mongering from the GOP, but unions are trying to leverage their power to see that EFCA makes it through. SEIU, the largest union in the country, has been at the forefront of the fight releasing videos on YouTube to encourage people to support EFCA. Other unions are banding together as well.
Watch SEIU’s “The Horror of the Employee Free Choice Act.”