Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa Jr. said Tuesday that he'd met with Sen. Arlen Specter yesterday before the Pennsylvania lawmaker announced his intention to switch parties.

Hoffa said today's news had left the impression that there were new opportunities available to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA, or "card check").

"I have been talking with Senator Specter about his position on the Employee Free Choice Act since his March decision to oppose the bill," Hoffa said in a statement. "On Monday, I met with Senator Specter in Pennsylvania and was joined by three workers who would be helped by the legislation."

"I believe today's announcement shows that there is still opportunity to help working people in this country through passage of the Employee Free Choice Act," he said.

Hoffa joins other figures in the organized labor community in celebrating Specter's decision and professing optimism that Specter would switch back on EFCA, despite pledging not to in his statement today.