Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke to Communications Workers of America convention delegates yesterday. Her remarks to the union activists coincided with what House leaders have deemed “Making it in America” week, promoting a strong manufacturing economy and employment.
Yet the Speaker used this opportunity to reiterate her support for the anti-democratic Employee Free Choice Act, which would lead to the destruction of 600,000 American jobs in the first year after its enactment. As the economic analysis of the legislation by the nonpartisan LEGC shows that for every 3 percentage points gained in union membership through card checks and mandatory arbitration will result in a 1 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate the following year. The Speaker predicted that the legislation would soon be “the law of the land.” Unfortunate.
Meanwhile the head of the Communications Workers of America, Larry Cohen, said, “[When] a majority of the Senate wants to take action, they can.” He added: “There is no hope of any meaningful restoration of private sector bargaining rights as long as we have these Senate rules.”
Mr. Cohen asserts that the only thing stopping this legislation is procedural hurdles in the upper chamber of the U.S. Senate. We respectively disagree. The only thing stopping this legislation is the legislation itself. Countless members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are united in opposition because the bill wouldn’t restore “private sector bargaining rights,” but would instead promote forced unionization, exacerbate labor-management conflict, rob the U.S. labor market of its dynamism and kill hundreds of thousands of American jobs. It appears that union leaders not only want to change labor laws in their favor but also overhaul longstanding Senate rules to pass their priority.
Union leaders’ strategy here is clear. If you don’t have a popular proposal, change the rules of the game.