Earlier today, Democrats announced that Costco CEO Jim Sinegal will be speaking at their convention in September. But while Sinegal has been a faithful supporter of President Obama, even holding a fundraiser for the president at his Washington state home recently, the choice of him as a speaker in Charlotte is likely once again to aggravate labor unions.
After all, Sinegal was a strong opponent of the Employee Free Choice Act--also known as "Card Check"--which was the Obama administration's big labor bill that promised to expand unions and was staunchly opposed by Republicans and business leaders. The bill failed to pass Congress.
In April 2009, News Tribune reported:
In late March, Costco, Starbucks and Whole Foods announced they had formed the Committee for a Level Playing Field and suggested a “third way” be found to reform the nation’s labor laws. The companies said they opposed ending secret-ballot elections and requiring binding arbitration for initial contracts. They acknowledged the current system was fraught with problems and suggested a time limit on holding elections and stricter penalties if a business tried to coerce its employees into opposing a union.
“We saw this thing as a train wreck,” Sinegal said of the bill. “We think card check is wrong. It’s not fair to employers and workers and the arbitration requirement is crazy.”