Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal by Kimberly Strassel on May 20, 2021.
If Washington’s grand infrastructure talks collapse, as they likely will, expect the usual finger-pointing from both sides. Don’t mention the donkey in the room: Big Labor.
President Biden has a union problem already. Along with climate change, Biden’s top agenda item is boosting organized labor—a payoff to the unions that spent big to propel him to victory. So far, though, it’s going nowhere, and it’s a big reason Democrats may kill an infrastructure deal.
Democratic presidents traditionally work their union magic through the National Labor Relations Board, via rulings that stack the deck for labor. And indeed, within hours of inauguration, Biden took the unprecedented step of firing NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb. Biden immediately installed a new acting general counsel, who in turn immediately dismantled most of Robb’s legacy. In normal times, labor unions would be thrilled. …