Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

WSJ: Politics By Proxy

The Wall Street Journal opines this morning:

It’s no surprise that unions would back the Democratic agenda for government-run health care. What’s new is that labor won’t do this only through the political process. According to an article in Financial Week that quotes Dan Pedrotty, the director of the AFL-CIO’s office of investment, the union plans to try to influence — really, intimidate — corporate boards with proxy fights. It also intends to ask companies to file reports on political contributions by directors and executives, especially those who support candidates who oppose universal care.

It’s not really a new phenomenon. Lately union officials have used the time-“honored” practice of pressuring corporate boards, while also adding in a component to attack private equity firms. Continuing, the Journal writes:

If unions want more generous health-care benefits, they have the right and power to bargain for them with management. The labor movement did that with great success with steel companies, carmakers and airlines, at least in the short run. In the longer run, they’ve made their companies less competitive by imposing huge legacy costs.

Categories: AFL-CIOCenter for Union Facts