A Clear Agenda and a Reelection

By September 13, 2013Labor Unions

This week, the AFL-CIO held its big annual convention in Los Angeles, CA where they reelected Richard Trumka as President, heard from Presidential Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, among other speakers and dealt with the business of their organization. In the course of the convention, the AFL-CIO membership also passed several resolutions providing the framework for the organization’s efforts in the coming years.

Resolution 1, which I have to assume is the most important given it was first, is a wish list submitted to the convention by the Committee on Growth, Innovation and Political Action and the Executive Council. I wonder whether the Committee on Growth, Innovation and Political Action has any concern about whether the policy it espouses will do anything to encourage growth or innovation in the economy or if it’s just focused on getting more AFL members and developing recruiting techniques? At any rate, the manifesto passed by the assembled members reads like a to-do list for the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board – much of which they have tried or are trying to accomplish already.

–          Employers should be required to post notices.

–          Increased access to the workplace for union representatives.

–          Card-check.

–          More personal information about employees.

–          Organizing rights for supervisors.

–          Ambush elections.

–          Abolition of “Right-to-Work.”

–          Expansion of organizing and bargaining in public sector.

The resolution concludes with the following paragraph: “The reforms should not simply reaffirm a right to representation and to work under a collectively bargained agreement that is never realized by the vast majority of U.S. workers, but should expressly encourage the exercise of that right and include sufficiently strong substantive changes to make the right meaningful and real for all workers.” (Emphasis added) That’s what it’s really about isn’t it – not that the law should create a fair and level playing field, it needs to stack the deck in favor of unions.

Finally, I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations to Mr. Trumka on his reelection. We don’t and won’t agree on much, but you do have my respect.

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