Business Groups Petition Senators to Overturn Specialty Healthcare: Kevin Bogardus of The Hill writes that more than a half-dozen business groups sent a letter to senators asking them to pressure the National Labor Relations Board to overturn an August 2011 decision that allows unions to form smaller bargaining units.
The business group asked the senators to send “a strong message” to the NLRB about the decision when they consider funding for the Labor, Health and Human Services spending bill.
The NLRB says the decision did not create new criteria for determining the size of unions’ bargaining units outside of healthcare facilities. But business groups have pushed back against that assertion.
"Corporate power increases as workers battle one another": Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times has a piece arguing that the "anti-labor" elections last week is part of a trend to destroy "social cohesion" and will make it harder for all businesses to prosper.
But labor’s diminishing power has much to do the weakness of the economic recovery and the bloodlessness of consumer demand. Put simply, when more and more of the bounty of economic growth flows to those who don’t need to spend it, and so little to those who immediately would crank it into the retail economy, demand will continue to stagnate. That means meager job growth.
Worse, as workers battle one another for smaller slices of the same shrinking pie, they see others in the same fix not as neighbors but rivals. Today’s vision of the working-class economy as a zero-sum game underlies public opposition to all sorts of stimulative programs — assistance for strapped homeowners, to cite one example.
Unions Press On After Wisconsin Recall Election: Michael Bastasch of The Daily Caller writes that labor and public sector unions vow to regroup and to fight efforts to weaken their influence. Indeed, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka argues that the elections have provided them with more opportunities:
“In the past we couldn’t talk to non-union workers. Now we can at least talk to non-union workers, so we’ll be mobilizing them and educating them not for just six or eight months before an election, but we’ll be doing it year-round,” Trumka continued. “So the day after that Wisconsin election happened, we were back out on the streets; we were talking to workers; we were educating them; we were mobilizing, and we were getting them going.”
However, the article also notes that some state governments will seek to ride Walker’s momentum against unions by enacting right-to-work laws or limiting collective bargaining rights.