Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Jane Hamsher writes at Campaign Silo "New compromise measures from Diane Feinstein and Arlen Specter may pave the way for the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)."
According to the National Journal:
[Diane Feinstein's] proposal would replace the card-check provision, which would allow workers to unionize if a majority signed authorization cards and strip a company's ability to demand a secret ballot election. "It's a secret ballot that would be mailed in … just like an absentee ballot. The individual could take it home and mail it in," Feinstein said. If a majority mailed the ballots to the National Labor Relations Board, the NLRB would recognize the union.
As [Sen. Tom] Harkin says, the Feinstein compromise has the advantage of "protecting the secret ballot, so people can do it in private," which neutralizes that particular right-wing criticism of the bill.
The other bone of contention has been arbitration clause of the Employee Free Choice Act. Specter himself supports "last best offer" arbitration. It's also called "baseball arbitration," and has incentives to get both parties to quickly make their best, most reasonable offer. Bill Samuel of the AFL-CIO says "we're open to that."
Labor will no doubt be disappointed with such sacrifices to the bill, but if it means getting something passed, they will probably be happy to make these concessions which satisfy the demands of critics like Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor, Jim Webb, Michael Bennet, Mark Udall and Ben Nelson.
If these compromises can bring the Blue Dog Democrats back on board and labor can live with these compromises as a first step, there may be a deal.
Sen. Arlen Specter finally figured it out that he cannot win a Democratic primary in Pennsylvania without labor, whose support is contingent upon passage of EFCA.