One of organized labor's top backers in the Senate acknowledged Tuesday that "card check" legislation is basically dead.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) said that while he had supported the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA, or "card check"), its chances of passage were virtually none at this point.

"It's not going to happen now," Brown said on WVIZ radio in Ohio.

Labor had high hopes of passing EFCA through Congress in early 2009, when President Obama strode into office with strong majorities in the House and Senate. But opposition by business interests and the defection of centrist Democrats meant the legislation had effectively withered on the vine by the end of the 111th Congress.

Supporters of EFCA have hoped for a rewrite of the legislation that might make it more palatable and allow it to be passed in a modified form. But with increased Republican representation in the Senate and a GOP majority in the House, that seems all but impossible.