Thanks to our friend Jim Gray for passing along this AP story by Will Lester. We’ll get to the meat of it in a minute but what struck us was when we checked it in Google, there are two headlines on the stories. ABC and the WaPo, among others, say, “Organized Labor Pushes Pro-Worker Agenda,” while the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the San Jose Merc ran the identical story under the headline, “Unions Remind Dems They Want Results,” which is a little closer to the truth.
To say this is a pro-worker agenda is to believe that the AFL-CIO represents the majority of workers. Considering they have fallen into single digits in percentage of the private sector workforce represented, this claim would seem to be what is commonly known as a stretch. When you look at the agenda, it gets worse.
First and foremost, there’s oversight, a big fat waste of time that will find little appetite among the general public. Not why they sent Dems to Washington. Second is the minimum wage. Although it is likely to pass, it is a political, not an economic issue. There just aren’t very many single heads of household who earn the minimum wage. For them, their long-term hope is in education and training, not an increase in minimum wage. And, every time the minimum wage is raised, it costs jobs. The only question is how many.
Finally on the agenda is the anti-democracy card-check bill. We wonder, if the AFL-CIO wants to lower the bar to make it easier to form unions, will they also agree to lower the bar in order to allow folks to decertify their existing unions, or is this a door that can only swing one way? You know the answer: Under their plan, you can only get in, you can’t get out. Kinda like the Mafia. Or the Roach Motel. How on earth does this help the 90+% of private sector workers who don’t currently care to be in a union?
In any event, if you’re wondering what $100 million of members’ dues buys you, you’ll need to stay tuned and see how much of the AFL’s anti-worker agenda gets implemented.
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