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Without Mentioning “Union,” White House Goes All In For Workers’ Voice

Barack Obama
It must be a tough balancing act for President Obama to have so many corporate backers, yet still appease his friends in the union movement.

White House Summit on Worker VoiceNevertheless, the White House does appear to be trying its best to appease both, Obama’s corporate cronies, as well as his friends inside the House of Labor on a new campaign page on the White House website announcing the “White House Summit on Worker Voice.”

“A voice in the board room starts with a voice in the break room,” the website site declares. “There’s something every one of us can do to create change in our workplaces, and it always starts with a conversation — with colleagues or with decision makers. Make a commitment to start that conversation today.”

The website even has a slick video that talks about workers making changes in their workplaces through collective action (aka “concerted activity”)—all the while not mentioning the word “union” once.


While there has been much political rancor over the last several years regarding the pro-union leanings of Obama’s appointees at the National Labor Relations Board, one of the lesser-seen pushes coming from the NLRB has been the push toward the expansion of protected, concerted activity without a union.

It appears this nod and a wink approach will be continuing for some time yet…at least until 2017.

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