Tuesday’s nomination hearing for National Labor Relations Board nominee Craig Becker officially marks a quiet but important pivot in the administration’s strategy to meet the agenda demands of its biggest donor base, organized labor. Visible, big-ticket items are now out. What’s in? Under-the-radar regulatory efforts.
The initial plan lasted 12 months before dying quietly. The White House and Congressional Democrats paid appropriate lip service to the Employee Free Choice Act, which was widely reputed to be Big Labor’s top political priority. The bill, though, is so unpopular that Virginia’s newly elected governor made his opposition to it a central part of his campaign. And Republicans across the country are using the issue to bludgeon their opponents.
Then there’s health care legislation, which couldn’t be resuscitated even with the jolt of a galling “Cadillac” tax exclusion for unions and public employees (who now make up the majority of all union members). There’s little evidence that — barring an unforeseen outbreak of bipartisanship ahead of November’s election — this issue that used to be No. 2 on labor’s agenda will get anything but a toe tag in 2010.
While both issues have always faced long odds, the stunning win by Massachusetts Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R) has made the future even dimmer for labor’s legislation.
Thus, we have today’s hearing for Becker, a longtime strategist and lawyer for organized labor. If they can’t get “card check” through a broad, participatory legislative process, they’ll push to grab a similar victory through the federal board’s ability to regulate without approval of the people’s Representatives.
Read the rest of Jacobson’s post here
Read about the SEIU Craig Becker’s union extremist views here
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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