Spector Turns his Back on Working Families
families Sen. Arlen Spector (R-PA) announced he was
switching his position on the Employee Free Choice
Act and that he now plans to oppose the bill.
Spector, the only Senate Republican to cosponsored
the bill in 2005 and vote for it in 2007, now
says he agrees with the misinformation business
groups are espousing, calling the secret ballot “the
cornerstone of how contests are decided in a
Democratic society” and saying “mandatory arbitration
may subject employers to a deal they cannot live with.”
As an original co-sponsor of the bill, Spector is
well aware that the Employee Free Choice Act does
not remove the “secret ballot” but allows employees to
decide if they want a secret ballot – not the employer.
Spector, who is up for election in 2010 and faces
an opponent in the Republican Primary, has been
under attack from big business to flip his position on
the labor bill. The Associated Press reports that
business groups have spent more than $20 million to
defeat the legislation.
With 59 Democratic votes (when Al Franken is
seated) in the senate, one additional vote is needed
for cloture to allow the bill to come up for a full vote.
Spector could have just voted no on the bill but he now
says he’ll block the full senate from ever voting the bill
up or down.
President Obama, Vice President Biden, large
majorities in both houses of Congress and 73 percent
of the American people say they favor the Employee
Free Choice Act. It will be a shame if one vote in the
senate disallows this bill from advancing.
AFL- CIO President Sweeney said that Spector’s
announcement was “a rebuke to working people.” He
added that the Labor Federation will “not let a hardball
campaign from big business derail the dreams of
workers” and that in the coming weeks they will “be
escalating the EFCA campaign.”
The Illinois AFL-CIO
Michael T. Carrigan, President