Unionized Labor Power Growing Under Obama Administration

Pro-Union advisors and laws are becoming more prevalent under the new administration.

There has been a lot of activity occurring during the first few months of the Obama administration, including a significant amount of pro-union steps. Listed below are a few of the changes that have occurred as of late:

  • Assigning Hilda Solis as the labor secretary for the Department of Labor.  Solis is a four-term member of Congress with a long history of support for unions. She has made it clear that she believes that unions are mandatory and has continuously pushed for more organizing powers for unions.

  • Support of the EFCA. President Obama has made several statements stating that he would gladly sign the Employee Free Choice Act (or The Card Check bill) into law once the House and Senate get it on his desk. This bill will take away the secret balloting for unions and enforce a binding arbitration for contracts that can not be agreed upon with in 90 days.

  • Signed several pro-labor executive orders, including one signed on February 6th, which makes large-scale federal construction projects agree to use exclusively union labor. This results in a monetary windfall to unions due to the amount of federal construction projects rising exponentially due to the Stimulus Package. On April 21st, two more executive orders were signed delaying the effective date of new union financial reporting rules published during the Bush Administration, and the other proposing discontinuing the reporting rule altogether.

  • Most recently, Mary Beth Maxwell was brought on as a senior adviser to secretary Hilda Solis.  Maxwell is the founding executive director of American Rights at Work, which is a pro-union advocacy group that is backed by organized labor. (Solis was also a board member of American Rights at Work, prior to her confirmation to Labor Secretary)