WSJ: Obama Administration May Go Slow on Labor Agenda

By November 5, 2008Economy, Labor Unions

From the Wall Street Journal this afternoon, a speculative piece about the Obama Administration’s approach toward organized labor’s agenda, “Controversial Labor, Regulatory Issues May Take Back Seat“:

WASHINGTON — The weak economy, congressional races that empowered moderates and President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of business-friendly advisers suggest Democrats will go slow on controversial labor and regulatory issues.

A bill that would make it easier for unions to organize workers, efforts to raise the cost of greenhouse gas emissions, and a slew of contemplated taxes will likely take a back seat for now, Democratic operatives say.

“This administration from what I’m seeing is going to be very mainstream, middle of the road on tax and business policies,” said Scott Lilly, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a think tank close to the Obama administration. “I believe most businesses are going to find it pretty moderate…they’re trying to convey that.”

As we post this, 5 p.m., there’s no reference to organized labor on the front page of the Center’s website, from which we infer priorities.

In any case, how timely that this story appears after the NAM news conference today where NAM President John Engler highlighted the negative economic consequences of labor’s very expensive agenda. It doesn’t make sense for a new Administration to start with the potentially most divisive issue — Employee Free Choice Act — that would also quickly have a disrupting and easily recognized disruptive effect on the economy.

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