The price of union support for Biden – legislation to shift the balance in US industrial relations

We watched the last debate before the US presidential elections. President Donald Trump was better-behaved and the presence of mute microphones made for a more moderate evening.  But apart from a few clashes on health coverage and law and order, the debate – and most of the campaign – has been policy free.

One glaring absence (for a Point of Order team preparing to relax over Labour Weekend and commemorate Labour Day) was labour law. By and large membership of unions and compulsory bargaining has been missing from the industrial relations scene in the US in recent years.

At present 27 states have “right to work” laws where unions can organise workers but individuals can opt out if they please.

South Carolina is a good example. In 2013 Boeing selected that state to erect a factory to build 787 Dreamliners in part because of the right-to-work laws.  This month it announced all 787s would be built there, taking production away from the union-heavy Everett site. Continue reading “The price of union support for Biden – legislation to shift the balance in US industrial relations”

Partisan senators will be jurors for Trump trial – and the defence team will get help from Senate leader

Some time next month the US Senate will try President Trump and determine whether he should be removed from office.  But there’s no doubt the Republican-controlled upper house will ensure that he remains in the White House, and – if the polls are confirmed – he will be re-elected in November.

Government resumes work in the US capital on January 6 when the Democrats and Republicans will continue sparring over the conduct of the trial. In principle, the Senate has to act as a jury with Chief Justice John Roberts in the chair.

So far, Republicans have shown no indications of neutrality nor any intention of observing constitutional safeguards.

Senate leader Mitch McConnell says he is coordinating the defence with the White House.  He and some of his fellow GOP senators are looking for a quick event. Continue reading “Partisan senators will be jurors for Trump trial – and the defence team will get help from Senate leader”