On Tuesday, Republican delegates approved a platform The Washington Times had called the most conservative in party history. “It’s an indictment, it’s a blueprint, and it’s a declaration of values,” Virginia Governor and Platform Committee Chair Bob McDonnell told the assembled delegates. It’s also a full-on embrace of the same anti-union agenda that helped earn Scott Walker and Nikki Haley their Tuesday night speaking slots. The new platform reflects a Republican Party even more hostile to organized labor than the one that nominated John McCain four years ago.
Perhaps the most dramatic shift in the platform’s language is on “Right to Work,” legislation that makes it illegal for unions and companies to sign contracts requiring that everyone represented by a union help pay the costs of negotiating and enforcing contracts. Twenty-three states have passed such laws, effectively making it harder for unions to maintain and grow their strength, and easier for companies to pick on union supporters, or suspend union recognition entirely.