Barack Obama

Is Organized Labor Turning on Obama?

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Over at the pro-union site In These Times, lefty journalist Steve Early complains that the Obama administration sold out organized labor in favor of health care "reform" (his scare quotes):

To keep labor in line, the administration has, for the last seven months, repeatedly dangled the carrot of labor law reform whenever leading unionists joined other critics of the president's health care plan who lamented its emerging lack of a public option, expanded access to Medicare, or any other single-payer strengthening features. Earlier this month, unions were even prodded to accept, in postponed form, a controversial tax on more expensive medical private plans; if enacted, this 40 per cent excise tax will encourage further cost shifting by management, leave workers without bargaining rights more exposed to an already devastating trend, and, ultimately, saddle union members with higher co-payments and deductibles as well. In marathon talks with the White House that produced this self-defeating deal, labor reps were reminded once again, that any derailing of such "reform" would be a victory for the GOP and, thus, the death-knell of employee free choice.

Now trade unionists are seeing the latest opportunity to strengthen workplace rights, as promised by the Democrats, simply vanish. As one dismayed union official in Washington, D.C. told me: "It's the end of labor law reform for another generation."

Last July, Shikha Dalmia explained why the Employee Free Choice Act deserved to die.

[Via Point of Law]