Update for Summer 2010
“Organized Labor Reaches a Roadblock”: Will Focus More on Influencing Executive Orders and Appointments; Watch for a November Surprise?
A senior union official, Stewart Acuff, says labor hopes to get EFCA-like changes from the NLRB:
“[If] we aren't able to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, we will work with President Obama and Vice President Biden and their appointees to the National Labor Relations Board to change the rules governing forming a union through administrative action to once again allow workers in America access to one of the most basic freedoms in a democracy--the freedom of speech and assembly and association so that workers can build the collective power to challenge the Financial Elite and Get America Back to Work.”
The President has made several pro-labor appointments recently, some on a recess basis. The NLRB now has the votes to make major changes in process, policy and regulations governing a wide spectrum of labor relations topics.
More recently, there is talk of an “November Surprise” where lame duck Members of Congress force through pro-union legislation, perhaps as part of a “must pass” emergency spending bill. Journalist Peyton Miller said recently:
“While he’s stopped campaigning for EFCA, the president may yet have an opportunity to sign it in some form. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka is determined to see card check attached to an urgent bill while Democrats still have decisive congressional majorities. Democratic leaders have indicated that the lame duck session following the November elections may be the best opportunity.”
What does all this mean?
Washington politics and processes are very unpredictable and dependent on the status of seemingly unrelated bills, pressures, perceptions and events. The completion of health reform may open up more time for legislative mischief in the workplace. Stay vigilant and stay tuned!
Call on us if we can help.
Bruce Clarke (firstname.lastname@example.org)