Longtime labor activist Steve Early wrote an op-ed in Sunday’s Boston Globe questioning President-Elect Obama’s commitment to the Employee Free Choice Act. Says Early: “Rahm Emanuel [Obama's soon-to-be chief of staff] has declined to say whether the White House will support the Employee Free Choice Act.”
[You may have read Early's article about EFCA in the Sept./Oct. 2008 issue of Dollars & Sense.]
Many union activists believe EFCA will make it easier for workers to organize and to engage in collective bargaining. Ever since the election, left-liberal bloggers have been questioning whether Obama will make EFCA a priority, as he pledged during the campaign.
Last week, the Huffington Post seemed to put those fears to rest. Sam Stein wrote on Dec. 3:
An aide to Barack Obama reaffirmed the President-elect’s support for the labor movement’s chief legislative priority in a one-word statement issued to the Huffington Post on late Tuesday.
Asked if Obama’s support for the Employee Free Choice Act remained as strong as his public proclamations suggested on the campaign trail, transition spokesman Dan Pfeiffer responded, succinctly, “Yes.”
Some have wondered whether Emanuel, with his warm feelings for the corporate world, might try to push Obama away from the labor movement. But according to the Communication Workers of America, Emanuel voted for EFCA in the House last year.
So it looks like the Obama administration will support EFCA. But there’s nothing wrong with the labor movement keeping the pressure on.