Rumors of the demise of the Employee Free Choice Act are greatly exaggerated. In a teleconference with reporters April 29th to tout the administration’s accomplishments in its first 100 days, Vice President Joe Biden told reporters that the president continues to support and work for the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).
‘We believe the present system is tilted against what was initially intended by the NLRA,’ Vice President Biden noted. ‘If you go back and look at the legislation from back in those days it says that one of the purposes is not to guarantee unions but to promote, though, promote the ability of people to organize.’
‘We think, as my grandfather used to say, it has been stood on its head,’ Biden added, referencing the current state of federal labor law.
Biden expressed optimism that EFCA will pass. ‘We’re supportive of it, and we will continue to support it,’ he said.
Biden refused to speculate too much on what Sen. Arlen Specter’s defection from the Republican Party would mean for the bill’s chances for passage, except to say that Sen. Specter would likely keep an open mind on compromise proposals that may arise in the future.
Specter, a former co-sponsor of the legislation, earlier this month flip-flopped his position on the bill by publicly stating that he would support a Republican filibuster against it. Immediately after his resignation from the GOP April 28th, he reaffirmed that stance on EFCA.
As reported exclusively in the , some union leaders have suggested that a compromise proposal which keeps the basic principles enshrined in the bill but overcomes objections held by Specter and others could be in the offing.
Biden pledged to work with labor, business and Congress to get the legislation passed and to remove ‘significant inequities’ for working Americans.