Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Compromise on EFCA

Via Ezra, SEIU president Andy Stern says that unions need to be willing to compromise on the Employee Free Choice Act and card check. That's true because this bill is probably dead on arrival. With so many Democratic senators afraid to support it, it's possible it won't get 50 votes, not to mention the 60 needed to break the inevitable Republican filibuster. As I said earlier, unions haven't done a lot of groundwork to build political capital backed up with the ability to enforce their will over the last decades. Lincoln, Bennett, Feinstein, and other Democrats caving on EFCA know they have little to be scared of. What are unions going to do? Strike? Support Republicans? Both are unlikely. Stern is a savvy political player, even if Change to Win has not worked out like he hoped. He knows the score and understands that unions do have enough power to start making progress against 6 decades of anti-labor legislation, even if they can't get it all back yet. Work for some real gains now, get that filibuster-proof majority in the Senate in 2010, and then we can really start talking, especially if unions use aggressive political tactics to demand the attention of centrist Democrats.