Yesterday, Wal-Mart (WMT) got dinged by a Citi analyst who warned that the Employee Free Choice Act would make it easier for unions to form and thus hurt Wal-Mart’s bottom line. Of course, the EFCA still has to pass, and by all accounts it’s nowhere close.
Nate Silver notes how the political winds have changed. Many Democrats who previously supported it, no aren’t so keen to get in front of it:
Failing to renew their sponsorship are Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana, Evan Bayh of Indiana, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Dianne Feinstein of California, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Jim Webb of Virginia. Freshmen Senators Michael Bennet, Kay Hagan and Mark Udall and Mark Warner have also declined to sponsor the bill. Why does EFCA suddenly seem to have such a tough row to hoe?
Part of the problem, as he notes, is a lack of political capital among dems, who just pushed through a big, but only marginally popular stimulus. It’s also easier to support somethign when you know it will be vetoed, then when the law might become reality. And labour has lost the messaging came on this one:
labour, moreover, has had trouble beating back the “secret ballot” talking point, whereas conservatives came armed for the fight, and were making an active effort to undermine support for the bill since at least the failed auto bailout vote in December. labour knows this (indeed, it never expected the battle over EFCA to be easy), and has been pushing back hard since roughly the time of the inauguration, but it let the secret ballot narrative get off to a running start and may now find it hard to catch up.
This is true. Anytime there’s a suggestion that the EFCA is about eliminating the secret ballot, the pushback is hard in our comments, and we get called idiots (we’re still looking into the details). We’d love to hear a EFCA supporter write out a thorough explanation of the bill, and explain why it shouldn’t be seen as anti-business or anti-democratic.