Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the only Republican to back the “card check” bill two years ago, will oppose the measure in the new Congress.
Specter’s opposition will make it virtually impossible for Democrats to line up the 60 votes they need to end a GOP filibuster without support from other Republicans.
The controversial Employee Free Choice Act would eliminate an employer’s ability to require a secret ballot if employees attempt to gain union representation. Instead, a union could be certified if a majority of workers at a particular site sign cards asking for a union — hence the term “card check.”
Sen. Specter supported the bill in 2007, when it was passed by the House but stalled in the Senate.
Specter on Tuesday informed John Engler, head of the National Association of Manufacturers, of his decision to oppose the bill.
And Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform said in a statement: “Senator Specter’s office has confirmed to ATR that he will vote against both cloture and passage on the Employee Free Choice Act (also known as ‘card check’ or the employee NO choice act). His vote is critical and this is a major victory for freedom, as well as a stunning defeat for the other side.”
Supporters say the bill would make it easier for workers to unionize, but opponents charge that the bill is a gift to labor unions that campaigned for Democrats in last year’s elections.
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