Card Check: Labor was ‘Outmaneuvered’ by EFCA Itself

By August 3, 2009Labor Unions

From Politico, “Incoming AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka vows tougher labor politics“:

Richard Trumka admits that unions were outmaneuvered on a key element of the Employee Free Choice Act — a bill making it easier for workers to organize…[snip]

“[We] could have done a lot of things,” Trumka said in an interview with POLITICO, acknowledging that unions did not do enough to combat the business community’s portrayal of organized labor’s top legislative priority as merely an attempt to strip workers of the right to a private ballot in union elections.

“But we didn’t, and we are where we are.”

For a labor boss who claims to represent workers around the country, this is an awfully insiderish, Beltway, tactical and politics-first view of the world. Outmanuevered, after labor spent tens of millions of dollars on electing pro-union candidates and organizing and messaging? Go back through the AFL-CIO’s blog for the past two-plus years and look at all the effort expended on the Employee Free Choice Act. Labor was manuevering before business got out of bed in the morning.

Labor’s problem was the bill itself, the dishonestly named Employee Free Choice Act, which was not merely but first and foremost an attempt to strip workers of the right to a private ballot in unions elections.

The only outmaneuvering business did was to call attention to the substance of the legislation. The Employee Free Choice Act — including card check, binding arbitration, and other anti-employer provisions — is a bill that undermines management flexibility, employee autonomy, and economic innovation.

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