Business opponents argue it would effectively end the secret ballot for unionizing a workplace and allow union officials to intimidate workers into signing up, resulting in higher costs and fewer jobs overall. Opponents complain that once a union is ratified, it would impose onerous new rules forcing quick contract negotiations.
But unions and their Democratic backers say that intimidation by employers is a key reason why unions only represent about 7 percent of the work force.
Harkin said hes confident Democrats will ultimately climb on board.
I dont note any erosion in support for the basic premise, Harkin said. I think the votes are there.
Harkin acknowledged changes to the bill may be necessary to win support.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the House would wait for the Senate to act, noting that the House already passed card check in the previous Congress.
House support for the legislation is not in question. Miller said he has 223 co-sponsors for his bill, including three Republicans more than enough to pass the bill.
But some conservative House Democrats have sought to avoid taking another vote on the issue one guaranteed to be scored by major business groups as an anti-business vote unless the Senate acts.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.