Specter’s Statement on EFCA
It’s here — few people at the labor conference I’m at have seen it. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) comes out against every aspect of the bill.
On the merits, the issue which has emerged at the top of the list for me is the elimination of the secret ballot which is the cornerstone of how contests are decided in a democratic society. The bill’s requirement for compulsory arbitration if an agreement is not reached within 120 days may subject the employer to a deal he or she cannot live with. Such arbitration runs contrary to the basic tenet of the Wagner Act for collective bargaining which makes the employer liable only for a deal he or she agrees to. The arbitration provision could be substantially improved by the last best offer procedure which would limit the arbitrator’s discretion and prompt the parties to move to more reasonable positions.
No compromise. Also:
I am announcing my decision now because I have consulted with a very large number of interested parties on both sides and I have made up my mind. Knowing that I will not support cloture on this bill, Senators may choose to move on and amend the NRLA as I have suggested or otherwise. This announcement should end the rumor mill that I have made some deal for my political advantage. I have not traded my vote in the past and I would not do so now.
The question among anti-EFCA activists is: Why today? Today was set to be the launch of a proposal from Costco, Starbucks and Whole Foods that neither side in this battle liked, but anti-EFCA activists particularly opposed for ceding any ground at all.
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