Labor unions rolls decline and so, the Obama administration gives them a win they couldn’t get legislatively:
Labor unions will have an easier time organizing workers at U.S. airline and railroad companies after the Obama administration on Monday changed a 76-year-old rule on union elections.
The change is a major victory for unions that have struggled to reverse years of decline in membership. And it’s the most significant so far in a string of White House moves designed to boost organized labor.
The new rule, announced by the three-member National Mediation Board, would recognize a union if a simple majority of workers who cast ballots approve organizing. The previous rule required a majority of the entire work force to favor unionizing. That meant workers choosing not to vote at all were effectively treated as “no” votes.
The most immediate impact of the change would be at Delta Air Lines, where unions are trying to organize about 20,000 flight attendants. Unions are also expected to target workers at smaller carriers, including Allegiant Air, JetBlue Airways, Republic Airways and SkyWest.
Airlines that fought the change say it will lead to more labor disputes that could disrupt commerce and increase delays in an industry already reeling from recession, higher fuel costs and stepped-up security hassles.
The Air Transport Association, which represents most major airlines, is expected to file a lawsuit challenging the new rule.
How many years, if ever, will it take to undo the economic destruction wrought by this administration?