If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of a lawsuit filed by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, every state in the country would essentially turn into an anti-union "right to work" state, which would be a significant blow to public sector unions' collective bargaining efforts and also complicate thousands of existing contracts between organized workers and municipalities, cities, counties, and states across the country.
Dissent Magazine (Winter 2014)
The AFL–CIO is a multifaceted institution composed of scores of autonomous unions, so President Richard Trumka’s leadership can hardly turn around this cumbersome vessel all that quickly. But the new emphasis is clear: the unions should ally with progressive partners and devote more energy to make the kind of changes in social policy that can benefit millions of poorly paid and insecure workers.
Last year alone, Wal-Mart spent a staggering $8.68 million on lobbying expenses -- 70 percent of which was spent on its own platoon of internal company lobbyists. In addition to buying lobbyists, Wal-Mart also makes corporate contributions to presidential and Congressional candidates: $9.5 million between 2000 and 2012. Wal-Mart created a political action committee to handle these contributions, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. PAC for Responsible Government.
The American Prospect
Faced with the very real threat of extinction, unions have largely put collective bargaining on the back burner, and instead must try to remind American workers of the basic concept of worker solidarity. “We start from the point of view that, because so few people are in unions these days, very few people have personal experience with collective power,” explains Karen Nussbaum, the executive director of Working America.