As the labor battle in Wisconsin and several other mid-western states heated up in January, there was an increase in lobbying registrations related to labor issues at the federal level. Twenty-three new lobbying contracts sprang up during the month to address labor, antitrust and workplace issues and another eleven more registrations occurred in February with a few others coming in March, according to data aggregated by the lobbying tracker.
Thus far, Ameriprise Financial and eight other organizations have created new contracts in March. American Continental Group signed three new lobbying contracts in February with agricultural giant Monsanto Co, Advanced Micro Devices and Wine Institute to advocate for their clients on labor issues.
In December, unions and the states such as Wisconsin were gearing up for tough budget negotiations that most states are facing in these economic times. The controversial Wisconsin legislation was introduced Feb.11 and included provisions that weakened collective bargaining for state employees.
Most of the registrants in January were employers such as Hyundai Motor Co., CBS Corp, Expedia Inc. and Principal Financial Group. There was also a spike in registrations among unions. For instance, the Free Enterprise Nation, an organization that is committed to “Oppose unfair union activism” reported their lobbying contract with Three Bridges Advisors, Inc. The Freelancers Union and Committee of Interns & Residents/SEIU also registered new lobbying contracts in February.
The contracts in January represented several health care organizations. Gay Men's Health Crisis, Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, Healthcare Assn of New York State, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, and Express Scripts Inc. In many cases the contracts extend beyond the scope of labor issues to include other concerns.