Outsourced to former Democratic Labor Secretary Robert Reich (boldface mine):
The biggest thing that I regret not pushing harder on has to do with labor unions. Bill Clinton, as did Barack Obama, promised the unions that there would be labor law reform. That would be one of the major first initiatives of both administrations, when the Democrats had both houses of Congress. By labor law reform, I mean making it easier to form unions, making it harder for companies and employers to fire workers for trying to form unions.
In both instances, both the Clinton administration and the Obama administration, both presidents essentially said, “No, I don’t want to spend my political capital on that, even though I promised labor unions that I would. They have no real option. They’re going to be with me in the future.” That, I should have fought harder for…
Workers not only needed unions and still need unions but also the Democratic party needed labor unions because labor union members were the ground troops of the Democratic party. Without them, the Democratic party is really just a big fundraising machine. It has no members, no real active membership, apart from people who are party functionaries.
There is a price to be paid for such expediency. We’re already paying it.