Obama's "Plan B" for Organized Labor?


Roll Call's Bret Jacobson reports that despite the apparent death of the pro-union Employee Free Choice Act, the Obama administration still has a few tricks up its sleeve to keep organized labor happy. As Jacobson writes:

[Today'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….

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.

As such, this hearing — demanded by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is troubled by Becker's blatantly anti-employer views — signals that we have officially hit plan B on the administration's strategy for pandering to the organized labor lobby. This new course will focus on the quiet job-killer of regulation and card check by fiat.

Read the whole thing here.

NEXT: Obama's Doublethink Doubletalk (State of the Union Remix)

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  1. Sounds more like a “morning after pill” would be appropriate after this passes the Senate.

  2. Do we detect a pattern here? Can’t get cap-and-trade through Congress, have the EPA ram it through by regulation. Can’t get the Free Choice Act passed by Congress? Have the NLRB adopt it by regulation.

    The problem with the latter is that under the federal labor law, the right to a secret ballot election is statutory. Even an Obama agency cannot repeal a statutory right by regulation. Nor can it impose mandatory arbitration of a contract by regulation. What we will see instead will be petty regulatory harassment of employers as a sop to Big Labor.

  3. Even an Obama agency cannot repeal a statutory right by regulation

    Yes! We! Can! (simply refuse to enforce laws we don’t like, at the same time we scream about how Bush did just that).

  4. I thought they said that undemocratic processes were bad.

  5. It’s not undemocratic if your intentions are pure.

  6. I would like to remind everyone of this:…..-your-vote

    How’s Obama working out for you, Reason editors? Don’t get me wrong, I hated McCain too. Stayed home for the election. But to vote for this guy, to actually give him your consent, and somehow pretend he’s anything other than a statist of the highest order?

    1. Never Forget: October 29, 2008

      1. I think I’ve forgotten already. Well, actually, I don’t know what you’re referring to.

        1. The link attached to my name is the link TheNino85 referenced above, which was written on October 29, 2008. It has many Reason staffers saying they will vote for Obama, to show how cool they are.

          When will the same people be interview about their votes, with the benefit of hindsight?

          1. Oh, that. If I recall correctly, (a) it was just a few Reason staffers, plus a few contributing authors that aren’t staffers; (b) they all gave the reason that they were voting AGAINST the Republicans, not FOR the Democrats; (c) coolness of themselves or Obama was never claimed.

      2. Wow! All of the Reason editors voted for Obama! . . . Wait, two of them did. The only Reason staffers who voted for Obama were Ron Bailey and Tim Cavanaugh; all of the other votes for Obama on that list were either writers whose work sometimes appears in Reason or libertarian(-ish) celebrities. But hey, why let reality get in the way of a good Real Libertarian Witch Hunt?

    2. Never Forget: October 29, 2008

      1. o…KAY! We won’t forget it! Jeez!

        1. The second one was a server hiccup.

  7. Question: Is Becker as “blatently anti-employer” as Jacobson is blatently anti-union? Bret seems to feel that OSHA’s impending regulations on combustible dust portend the end of Western Civilization. We ought to make those union guys breathe combustible dust! Lots of it! Then they will shut the fuck up!

    1. Vanneman, I find this review of Silkwood to be thin and lacking in style. Please try again.

      1. Ah, a subtle riposte!

        1. ProL, I find your review of The Man in the Iron Mask way too positive. Please try again.

          1. Ah, a barely adequate parry!

    2. We ought to make those union guys breathe combustible dust! Lots of it!

      Yeah! Right o….wait, you were kidding?

  8. Off topic, but every morning during my daily train commute, there is this group of about 5 people that discuss politics. Or more accurately, they spew the MSNBC talking points. Today, they were asserting that the only reason a person could have for watching Fox news was mental illness. They weren’t kidding. They really were working hard on the theory right on down to the possibility of it being part of a person’s DNA. In their world, Obamacare is utopia and the Republicans are evil, greedy monsters and that the Hersey’s and their ilk are who really runs the world. Then they started in on how crazy the SCOTUS was for its decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. I wanted to turn around and ask, “What part of ‘Congress shall make no law’ eludes you?”

    The kicker was a few weeks ago when they were trying to figure out why conservatives believed as they do. They attributed it to group think, saying that people group up in accordance with their beliefs and as such, derive positive chemical brain stimulation from the mutual reinforcement of their beliefs. Then one of them sheepishly asked, I wonder if we do that?”

    I had a hard time not asking, “Ya think???”

    1. They really don’t understand how stupid they sound. I had a lot of very sane and fairly apolitical friends move to Brooklyn after college and 7 years later they recite NPR talking points like zombies.

      I’ve been a libertarian the entire time they knew me. Suddenly, after time in the Brooklyn echo chamber, I’m Dick Cheney’s best friend.

      1. I’ve seen your Facebook profile, dude, and you have that picture of you hunting with Cheney. So stop the denials and just admit that you’re a Mason like me. Wait, didn’t I fuck the same goat as you during the initiation? I could swear I did. I think I remember the feel of your semen.

        1. Speaking of initiation, I just watched the film Havoc last night on IFC. It stars Anne Hathaway as a teen who agrees to have sex with a gang member as an initiation into the gang. She is so hot! Best. Nipples. Ever.

          1. That was a better movie review than Alan Vanneman ever thought of writing. Nicely done.

        2. Was it bubbling like Alka Seltzer? If so, definitely my semen.

          1. Yeah, and it was kind of gritty. Also, it gave me a rash, but a shot cleared that right up. However, my viral load count shot way the hell up for a while, and as we all know, there’s nothing you can do about that.

            Right, Vanneman?

        3. Wow. when he told me a friend once shot him in the face, I thought it was a Monica Lewinsky-type thing, not a hunting accident.

          1. You guys are being hateful and using crude language.

          2. I will always be an outcast here. I don’t have any big important empire ruling friends 🙁

      2. Meh. I’m sure the other side has their own echo chambers too–covering about 85% of the territory of the country, in fact 🙂

        1. Pointing out some people over there are idiots is not excuse to be an idiot yourself.

          And, I work on a college campus and don’t hear as much leftist politics in a year as I do spending one night drinking in Brooklyn.

          1. Just stay out of the trendy areas and you’ll be fine. My neighborhood’s as mixed as any you’ll find in Brooklyn (Bay Ridge) with the happy result that it doesn’t feel like I live in an echo chamber.

  9. Obamacare is utopia and the Republicans are evil, greedy monsters

    Well, duh.

  10. They attributed it to group think, saying that people group up in accordance with their beliefs and as such, derive positive chemical brain stimulation from the mutual reinforcement of their beliefs. Then one of them sheepishly asked, I wonder if we do that?”

    Self-awareness is not a particularly well known trait of the faithful.

  11. I love that liberal apologist’s statement that it’s okay to subvert the law (and the Constitution, by extension) so long as your intentions are “pure.” Since when was enslaving people to trade unions, or to government-run health care, pure? Lost freedom is slavery’s (i.e., the Left’s) gain. The only thing “pure” in that is the purity of the power grab by the elites to find the “one ring to rule and bind us all.”

  12. I have a Union Story:

    A few weeks ago, the City Office In Charge of Such Things called a meeting with the public employees’ union leaders and said, “We know you’re scheduled for a X% raise next year, but there’s literally no money. If you’re willing to defer the raise for a year, we can keep everyone currently on staff at their current wage. Otherwise, we’ll have to lay off enough people to make up the difference. Your choice.”

    Care to guess which one they chose? Yeah, they totally threw their union brothers and sisters under the bus. Fortunately, it was one of the city buses, so there wasn’t anyone on it except the driver, because it’s a city bus, and there’s never anyone on them except the drivers.

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