The two issues don’t appear to be directly related, but it could be that an auto bailout may jeopardize passage of the insultingly-mislabeled “Employee Free Choice Act”, better known as Card Check – the proposal to eliminate secret ballot elections for union certification.
First, the auto bailout talks have generated a lot of highly plausible “the-unions-killed-the-auto-industry” talk. That kind of stuff doesn’t help when you are arguing that America needs more unions. The UAW’s tendency to walk out whenever the talk turns to concessions just emphasizes the point.
Second, if Obama gives the unions anything like what they want in Detroit, he may find himself off the hook for any further union payoffs. He could say “I saved the country’s best union contracts from Republican rape – and you still want more from me?”
If that is the case, we might still see passage of an EFCA that makes needed procedural changes to speed up union elections and expedite prosecution of unfair labor practices. That would be a good thing, but not what the unions are expecting. They want card check and contract arbitration. But they may yet be disappointed.