As reported by www.rollcall.com at an August 27, 2009, Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce meeting, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the Senate's calendar for this year is likely too full to consider the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) until 2010. "We have too many other things on our plate," Reid said.
In reality, even if the Senate schedule becomes less crowded, EFCA is unlikely to reach the Senate floor without substantial changes. With Republicans stanchly opposed to the legislation and some key Democrats withdrawing support, EFCA would likely face a Republican filibuster, which Senator Reid does not have the votes to break.
Senator Reid's announcement comes in the wake of AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka's statement that EFCA will follow health care reform. As the health care debate rages on and Democrats continue to spend political capital, the fate of EFCA becomes more and more uncertain. With the 2010 elections looming, it remains to be seen whether Democrats will have the political fortitude to take on such a controversial piece of legislation during an election year. Accordingly, the 2010 elections may hold the key to EFCA's future.
Nevertheless, EFCA will continue to be a priority for labor. Employers should continue to maintain positive employee relations to avoid organization efforts both now and in the future. Baker & Daniels' labor and employment team has been working with clients across the United States to develop strategies to prepare employers so that they can remain non-union in what continues to be a challenging labor relations environment.