Are Unions Making a Comeback?

Three signs of life among the Democrats' beleaguered interest group

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According to conventional wisdom, the era of big labor is over. Unions are dead, and GM's bankruptcy drove the final nail in the coffin. But some columnists say they see signs of life. Three signs that unions may be making a comeback.

1. The Employee Free Choice Act Looks Likely to Pass, Harold Meyerson writes at The Washington Post. According to Meyerson, the legislation would "amend labor law to better enable private-sector workers to organize," and make it easier for unions to gain new members.

That the act stands a decent chance of passage (once amended to drop its controversial "card-check" provision, which would enable workers to bypass the election process to form a union) is in large part the result of one of John Sweeney's singular triumphs: the transformation of labor's political program into a powerhouse of American electoral politics.

2. Obama Is Putting His Political Ally Over Consumers, says James Pethokouki at Reuters. "When it came time for Obama to choose between his political allies on one hand and America's economic allies (and consumers) on the other, he chose the former this time."

3. Obama Is Reneging on Trade Agreements To Make Labor Happy, Stephen Spruiell writes at The National Review.

The administration opposes already-negotiated trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea at the behest of organized labor, and that it has made no progress toward ending a costly trade war with Mexico over the issue of long-haul trucking, which began when Democrats in Congress, at the behest of the Teamsters, reneged on our agreement under NAFTA to allow Mexican truckers across the border.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.