From the desk of Stephen Cabot:
While the political and ideological composition of Congress was dramatically altered by the election on Tuesday, the composition of the National Mediation Board remains the same. It is decidedly pro-union and dominated by President Obama’s ideological allies
The Board had recently made it easier for unions to organize air carriers by altering a rule of the Railway Labor Act so that fewer workers need to vote in favor of union representation than had been previously required.
And while Delta Airlines employees wisely rejected union representation after doing a side-by-side comparison of union and non-union benefits. (Unionized employees would have received lower salaries than non-unionized employees!). Unions, however, have not been discouraged by the employees’ rejection of unionization at Delta. In fact, organizing drives at numerous small regional carriers have begun, and the momentum of those efforts is rapidly increasing, fueled by the NMB’s decision to encourage such actions. A portentous example is one that has occurred at small Allegiant Airlines, where a majority of nonunion flight attendants have petitioned the National Mediation Board for an election to choose representation by the Transport Workers Union of America (TWUA). That is just one of many organizing drives that have begun and will continue over the next two years. While Corporate America has won a major battle by electing many Republicans to Congress, it still has a war to win, if it’s going to change the pro-union agenda that currently exists in the Obama Administration. The election of 2012 could be the one that gives Corporate America a conclusive victory.