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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Will Obama Help Unions?

John Cassidy:

... Now that Obama’s back in the White House, is the reform of labor laws back on the agenda? Almost certainly not. With the Republicans controlling the House, any effort to revive the card-check bill would be doomed. ...
With anything that requires congressional approval effectively ruled out, Obama’s options ... are limited. One thing he’s already done is speak out against the so-called right-to-work laws that Michigan and other Republican-run states are introducing... As the latest figures from the B.L.S. make clear, the Republican union-bashing is working. Last year, union membership fell... The unions badly need the President’s active involvement in the struggle against these G.O.P. initiatives...
The other venue where the unions will be looking for more favorable action is the National Labor Relations Board, which enforces labor laws and oversees elections at workplaces where unions are seeking to organize. ... At the start of 2012, Obama used recess appointments to appoint two union-friendly officials to the N.L.R.B.
By issuing some more rulings favorable to the unions over the next four years, the N.L.R.B. will help tilt the balance of power in the workplace back towards labor. But after many years in which employers were allowed to flout the law and intimidate union organizers with impunity, nobody in the labor movement is under any illusion that these administrative changes will be sufficient to reverse the unions’ historic decline. Indeed, even some economists who are sympathetic to unions believe that their decline is irreversible. ... Changing that is going to take much more than two terms of Obama in the White House. But if he is serious about pursuing a liberal agenda, he can’t avoid getting involved.

I meant to post this yesterday, but travel got in the way. Today, things have changed:

In a ruling that called into question nearly two centuries of presidential “recess” appointments that bypass the Senate confirmation process, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday that President Obama violated the Constitution when he installed three officials on the National Labor Relations Board a year ago. ...

Is anyone counting on the Supreme Court to overturn this?

    Posted by on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 12:47 AM in Economics, Unions | Permalink  Comments (107)


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