WASHINGTON, D.C. | November 2, 2009
The White House released some of its visitor logs last week and one name on them may not come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the mercifully mired Employee Free Choice Act.
The No. 1 visitor is Andrew Stern, a big-time union chief and major EFCA stakeholder. The Wall Street Journal fills us in on Stern’s visits to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. here:
“Andrew Stern, the president of the Service Employees International Union, visited the White House 22 times between Inauguration Day and July 31, meeting with President Barack Obama seven times and leading all visitors recorded during that period in a White House visitor log released Friday.
“The White House released an incomplete log of visitors in the opening months of the presidency, offering a glimpse of power and influence in the new Democratic administration.”
Weisman and McKinnon, “Presidential Visitor List Is Released,” The Wall Street Journal, 10.31.09
The logs don’t reveal what Stern discussed with President Obama and White House aides, but it’s safe to say that the Employee Free Choice Act – ostensibly organized labor’s top legislative priority – probably came up a couple times. Stern’s stake in the legislation is great. Indeed, some have said that the future of Big Labor’s political clout in Washington rides on EFCA.
So do future dynamics of the U.S. economy, which is why the act has been stuck on Capitol Hill for months.
It’s been stuck, among other reasons, because both Democratic and Republican lawmakers know that EFCA is the last thing the recovering economy needs right now. And many won’t make a move on something that sets aside a worker’s right to a secret ballot – the method of voting that gave lawmakers their current jobs. So Stern visits the White House again and again. But he could visit a thousand times, and it still wouldn’t hide the fact that EFCA is a job-killer that strips workers of their rights and has no business ever becoming law.
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