Commentary Magazine


Big-Labor Spin

There is no studio audience on Sunday news shows to hoot and laugh when guests say outlandish things. That’s a good thing for one of the country’s most prominent labor bosses. This reports notes:

Congress will move to pass controversial “card check” legislation this year, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka predicted Sunday.

Trumka said that lawmakers would pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) as well as healthcare reform this year, despite Republicans having picked up enough votes in the Senate to sustain a filibuster.

“I think we’ll get health care done and I think we’ll get labor law reform done before the year’s up,” Trumka said during an appearance on CNN.

Let’s stipulate that there might be some form of health-care legislation, however skimpy, that gets through. But who honestly believes that Democrats, lacking 60 votes and now seeing the rising tide of populist anger, are going to muster the will and the votes to take away the secret ballot from American workers? I suppose Trumka has to keep a stiff upper lip, but this silly talk only serves to re-enforce how badly Big Labor has fared under this president.

Union ranks have shrunk by 10 percent. Card check is going nowhere. The Cadillac-plan tax exemption proved to be one of the “backroom deals” that drove the final nail in ObamaCare’s coffin. Big Labor’s campaign largesse and political influence didn’t help Democratic candidates in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races. And a plurality of union members supported Scott Brown in Massachusetts. So you can understand the urgency of keeping up the illusion that victory is just around the corner.

Union bosses have spent millions and millions of their members’ dues electing candidates and then lobbying for their agenda. They have virtually nothing to show for it. At some point union members will wonder why it is that they are allowing their money to be used in this fashion.