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The Chamber Mobilizes

By Matthew Yglesias

"The Chamber Mobilizes"

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I’m probably not breaking any news if I tell you that American business really hates unions and, thus, really hates the Employee Free Choice Act. Thus, even though John Boehner is trying to destroy the American economy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is squarely focusing its fire on pro-EFCA Democrats. Your typical business executive would rather let the world burn, or see his children fed to a pack of wild boars, then see a union form at his firm. And it makes a certain amount of sense—businessmen appreciate the value of class solidarity. If you run your company into the ground, you get a nice severance package and another job at another company. But if you let your company be unionized, you’d be dead to your brethren. An attack on one is an attack on all, and they all stand together on this point.

Alex MacGillis’ report from the “Workforce Freedom Airlift” (organized by managers and their representatives, of course, not actual workers with actual concern about freedom) brings some eye-opening color to the visceral degree on which this hatred is felt. And people should listen to the Chamber’s words here—they’re not interested in compromise or optics or funny-business. They’re interested in making it as difficult as possible to form a union in the United States of America. That means no concessions on any of the bill’s points, and they’re confident that they can get at least a few Democrats to stand with them on this point. This threat of a capital strike was interesting, too:

“You’ve got to go up and tell them what will happen [if the bill passes], that no one is going to add a single job in the United States,” Chamber president Thomas Donahue told the assembled. “Will I put a job here where it’ll get unionized in an illegal way? No, I’ll put it somewhere else.”

I wonder if we’ll start seeing more of these kind of threats issued against other aspects of Obama’s agenda that the chamber doesn’t like.

‹ Chas Freeman Out

Are We Doomed? ›

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