Is the AFL-CIO trying to sneak card check through Congress? 

Yesterday, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka told The Hill they had given up trying to get congressional votes for card check legislation, which would eliminate secret ballots in union elections. Instead, they are looking to attach the legislation, which would radically remake the labor landscape, to another piece of unrelated legislation:

One victory that has eluded the AFL-CIO so far is seeing the Employee Free Choice Act signed into law. Unions have struggled to find the 60 votes in the Senate to move the standalone bill, and discussions have moved to attaching it to another piece of legislation.

“Anything we can get it attached to. There are multitudes of things we can get it attached to, and we will. We will get it done and it will be a good thing for the country,” Trumka said. “Quite frankly, I don’t know when we ever had 60 votes.”

Despite his new found skepticism about card check support in Congress, last year Trumka seemed confident that there were 60 votes for the legislation. And after unions spent $400 million electing Democrats in 2008, unions feel they’re owed. However, passing card check could be awfully damaging to Democrats — especially if it’s not done with proper debate and in a transparent fashion.

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Mark Hemingway

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