More than 1.5 million petitions seeking passage of the EFCA will be delivered to members of Congress tomorrow, Rally Tomorrow for Employee Free Choice. It is also expected that the bill will be formally introduced into the House of Representatives.
One interesting aspect to note, will it have fewer sponsors than it did in the last session of Congress? Last time there were 230; given the union push and more Democrats in the House you would expect there would be more this time.
The difference? The business community has now focused on the reality of the legislation and so another voice is being heard. Perhaps more importantly, it is not as free a vote as before. As long as Bush was in the White House, there was little danger that the EFCA in any form would become law. That has changed and so a vote for it is one that the Representative may have to own up to in the future.
Even so, it won’t change the outcome in the House, it will pass and possibly even in the near future. The real battle is in the Senate and the same rule, no more “free” votes, will be even more applicable there.
And to add grist to the fight, Richard Epstein, a University of Chicago law professor has just issued his The Case Against the Employee Free Choice Act. (pdf) It was sponsored in part by industry sources, from the introduction:
Finally, I have received financial support from the Alliance to Save Main Street Jobs (which is comprised of the HR Policy Association (the leader of the Alliance), the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Real Estate Roundtable, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Associated Builders and Contractors).
so it will no doubt be panned for that point alone. Frankly, it is going to be hard to find many who write on this topic that don’t have some dog in the hunt, so it would be nice to see his points argued on the merits.