The New York Times today covered another attempt by union officials to stave off declining membership. They’re asking the National Labor Relations Board to re-institute a long-since-dead practice that requires employers to bargain with a group of employees — even if that group doesn’t represent a majority of employees.
Most interesting is this point, which comes straight out of the playbook of electing pliant pols to do what union bosses can’t — rebuild membership:
Union officials acknowledged that the labor board, currently dominated by appointees of President Bush, would probably not adopt a rule so favorable to unions. But union officials said they were petitioning now in the hope that there will be a Democratic president someday who will appoint a board that will look favorably upon their argument.
Not surprisingly, the “good ol’ days” argument is cited by the Steelworkers and the United Auto Workers — their record speaks for itself.
The practice, by the way, is known as “minority unionism.” Given their ever-shrinking slice of the private sector, I’d say it’s pretty much all minority unionism at this point. Guess we’ll see if they can lobby their way back to power.
UPDATE: Carter Wood at NAM takes an interesting angle: that the “majority support” union bosses love to highlight for card check would be done away with in minority unionism.