Monday, 29 December 2008

New York Times: Strong unions will help economy

The new Obama administration must not postpone new legislation to strengthen the position of unions, the New York Times (NYT) writes in an editorial today. The newspaper argues that the new Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) will help do something about the ‘unjustifiable’ income disparity. Meanwhile, corporate complaints that the proposed legislation will worsen the economic crisis are unconvincing, writes the NYT:
“There is a strong argument that the slack labour market of a recession actually makes unions all the more important. Without a united front, workers will have even less bargaining power in the recession than they had during the growth years of this decade, when they largely failed to get raises even as productivity and profits soared. If pay continues to lag, it will only prolong the downturn by inhibiting spending”.
According to the newspaper, there is little doubt that new labour secretary Hilda Solis (photo) supports the EFCA, but the position of the new president is less certain. Most members of his economic team are veterans from the Clinton administration, and ‘in the Clinton era, financial issues routinely trumped labour concerns’.

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