As One Stand Together

John Cohn reminds us that nobody seems to have noticed the recent joint DLC/union event in which the leaders of the centrist outfit and the two major labor federations announced joint support for various things and, in particular, the DLC endorsed the Employee Free Choice Act which forces more knowledgable than I regard as vital to making it much more feasible to organize workers.

Cohn wonders a bit if this rapprochement is more tactical or strategic. Without any special insider knowledge, I would mark myself down for "strategic" simply because EFCA is really a strategic issue. Unions take stands on all kinds of issues, so pretty much anyone is bound to agree with them about some stuff and disagree about other stuff. The core issue of EFCA, however, is unions themselves -- marking yourself down for labor law reform is to say you'd like to see a revivial of the labor movement in America, whereas opposing or staying aloof from it is to say you'd like to see it fade away. Let me also note that recently I've heard various economists of a conservative or libertarian stripe express significant skepticism that public policy measures serious influence unionization rates. That could be true, I suppose, but it makes corporate America's die-hard opposition to organizing-friendly labor laws and labor law enforcement hard to explain.