Lincoln Remains Opposed to EFCA

The possibility of parts of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), specifically EFCA’s binding arbitration provision, coming back into the political arena has focused public attention on how some centrist members of the Senate might vote on cloture if an EFCA-minus-card-check bill were to be introduced. EFCA’s card check provision, which would allow unions to circumvent secret ballots in organizing elections, was extremely controversial and proved unpopular.

Under EFCA’s binding arbitration provision, if a newly unionized company and the union cannot agree on a contract after 120 days, a federally appointed arbitrator can then step in and impose a contract. This provision is finally getting some public attention — including recently from George McGovern. While it would be ideal to see EFCA defeated in toto, the good news is that right now the centrist Senators who hold the balance of power on this issue are unlikely to support binding arbitration. The Hill‘s Michael O’Brien reports:

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) indicated last week she does not favor the so-called “binding arbitration” part of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) as currently written.

Lincoln joins two other centrist Democrats in opposition to the second key component of EFCA favored by organized labor, making it difficult for a final compromise of the bill including the provision to overcome a Senate filibuster. …

Sens. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) have expressed their qualms about the arbitration section.

For more on EFCA, see here.