Union-backed card check legislation, much dreaded by the business community and a top priority for declining unions in newly-Democratic Washington D.C., may be in for a rockier road than expected, writes the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel.
A key obstacle? Red state Democratic Senators like Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln (up for re-election in 2010), both of whom have zigged and zagged wildly on the issue and really, really, really, wish that it would just go away:
In 2007, Mr. Pryor voted to move card check, Big Labor’s No. 1 priority. And why not? Mr. Pryor knew the GOP would block the bill, which gets rid of secret ballots in union elections. Besides, his support helped guarantee labor wouldn’t field a challenger to him in the primary.
Postelection, Mr. Pryor isn’t so committed. He’s indicated he wouldn’t co-sponsor the legislation again. He says he’d like to find common ground between labor and business. He is telling people the bill isn’t on a Senate fast-track, anyway. His business community, which has nimbly whipped up anti-card-check sentiment across his right-to-work state, is getting a more polite hearing.
The piece is careful to note that the legislation isn’t dead—but it may not be the slam-dunk that union officials were hoping for in Barack Obama’s Washington.