Labor After (Before?) Card Check


Say what you will about Washington Post op-ed union shill Harold Meyerson–he knows his labor movement. And he's got interesting news today of Big Labor's political reorganization:

Help me, David Bonior! You're my only hope!

After meetings in Maryland this week, the presidents of the two federations and of the nation's 12 largest unions -- including the National Education Association, which heretofore has not belonged to any labor federation -- announced the formation of the National Labor Coordinating Committee, an interim body that could pave the way for labor's reunification by forming a new federation with roughly 16 million members.

The committee will be headed by David Bonior, the former Michigan congressman and House Democratic whip who was the foremost congressional opponent of both the Reagan administration's support for Nicaraguan contras and the Clinton administration's support for free-trade legislation with China and other repressive regimes. Bonior, who headed former senator John Edwards's 2008 presidential campaign, might possibly emerge as the head of the new federation. He is currently president of American Rights at Work, a pro-union advocacy group that has been coordinating the campaign for the Employee Free Choice Act […]

With star power like that, what could go wrong! Sarcasm aside, what's interesting here (to me) is the context, which (in my telling, anyway) is that private-sector unions are bleeding market share among non-governmental workers, and so are focusing their energy on using the blunt force of government to rig the market in their favor:

The unification is the result of both dashed hopes and new hopes. The dashed hopes are those of the founders of [former splinter group] Change to Win, who argued that by focusing on organizing rather than politics, they could reverse the decline in union membership. That proved not to be the case, which is why all of labor now sees passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would protect workers' right to join unions, as key to their expansion -- or survival.

Note creative use of the word "protect."

Reason on the dead-for-now Employee Free Choice Card Check here.