As we’ve noted previously, there’s been a grand alignment this week in Washington of the stars in organized labor’s firmament. The Communications Workers of America are meeting at the Hyatt-Regency, Capitol Joe Hill, where Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards spoke yesterday. The Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO has really geared up today, with candidate appearances as well. (Jim Geraghty of The National Review is live-blogging the events here.)
Then there was the Senate hearing on the fancifully named Employee Free Choice Act. And we overlooked the quarterly meeting of the Teamsters’ general executive board, another stop for Obama and Clinton.
But the big element in this constellation we missed?
The labor events coincide with the busiest fund-raising week of the campaign, as candidates are scrambling for contributions from top donors before the first quarter filing deadline on March 31, considered an early benchmark for White House hopefuls.
Reckon that should have been obvious earlier.
UPDATE: (12:45 p.m.) The Hill leads today’s edition with a long piece giving union leaders a chance to trumpet their renewed influence over Democratic candidates, “Unions ride Dem wave.”
Meanwhile, The Associated Press finds autoworkers in the Midwest to be uninterested in unionization, “Japanese U.S. automakers steer clear of unions.” Key passage:
“A union has a difficult time convincing others to join when workers already get what they perceive to be really good benefits and pay,” said Steven Szakaly, an economist with the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Randy Bagby, another worker at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis, agreed. He said the plant offers workers vision and health benefits similar to what friends in unionized factories receive.
“If they’re giving us the benefits and pay that’s comparable to what the UAW plants give, why would we want them in there messing with what we already have?”
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