Employee Free Choice Act Blocked, Short of Votes

The Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800/S. 1041) was blocked on the Senate floor, as a procedural attempt to move the legislation forward for debate, and votes fell short, 51-48. Sixty affirmative votes were needed to invoke cloture (cut off debate) on the “motion to proceed” to the bill. The vote fell largely along party lines.

PIA/GATF notified all 100 senators that the association opposed the unionization bill and urged a “no position” on the procedural vote. (Thanks to those who took action in opposing the bill.)

While a victory for the industry, PIA/GATF members are reminded that this vote was, in some ways, the opening salvo in a long-term philosophical and political battle over the future of the nation’s labor laws.

The bill could return to the Senate floor this Congress, should Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) decide to pursue “regular order” on S. 1041 or attempt to attach it as an amendment to a legislative vehicle requiring only 50 votes for passage.

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