AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka implied Thursday there might be a vote on a contentious union bill when Congress returns after the midterm elections.
When asked if he had received a commitment from Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill to move the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) during the lame-duck session, Trumka told reporters on a conference call to “stay tuned.”
“All I would say to you is stay tuned. That would be my best answer to you,” Trumka said.
Asked to provide more specific details, the union leader declined.
“I could be, but I chose not to be,” Trumka said.
Others have hinted at a lame-duck vote on EFCA in the past.
For example, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said in June this year that such a vote was possible.
“To those who think it’s dead, I say think again,” Harkin, the bill’s main sponsor, said on the liberal Bill Press radio show then.
“A lot of things can happen in a lame-duck session, too,” the senator later said in reference to EFCA.
Business groups fear the bill would lead to more unionization and have heavily lobbied against it. Often called “card-check," EFCA would allow workers to form a union if the majority of them sign authorization cards and not have to go through secret-ballot elections instead.
EFCA has struggled to pass this Congress. Republicans oppose the bill while some centrist Democrats, such as Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), have wavered in support or have come out against it as well.