June 27, 2007 - A majority of Senators voted in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) today, but the vote was nine votes short of the 60-vote requirement to break a filibuster of the bill by a handful of obstructionist Senators. In a normal vote, the 51-48 margin would pass the bill. But under Senate rules, 60 Senators must vote for “cloture” to end debate if a few Senators elect to “filibuster,” or keep debate open on the bill.
EFCA has gotten farther than ever under the Democratic majority in Congress. The House passed its version and there were enough votes in the Senate for passage if there were no filibuster.
The Employee Free Choice Act (S.1041) would have leveled the playing field in the workplace by allowing workers to decide to join a union without employer interference and require arbitration if a timely agreement is not reached on a first contract.
The AFL-CIO and its affiliates mounted an intense grassroots campaign that generated nationwide rallies, 50,000 telephone calls, 156,000 faxes and 220,000 postcards to the Senate in support of EFCA.
“In (the) 2006 (election), the middle class spoke up. They understand they have not shared in the wealth that’s been produced,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
“It’s clear the majority of the American people want this legislation. A majority of the House wants it. A majority of the Senate wants it. And we will keep coming back year after year.”