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Obama’s Unhappy Union

- August 29, 2014

This Labor Day, Even Obama’s Big Labor Allies Have Split With His Policies

LABOR UNIONS HAVE BEEN MAJOR BACKERS OF OBAMA’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS

Labor Unions Spent “More Than $400 Million” To Re-Elect Obama In 2012. “Unions spent more than $400 million during the 2012 election cycle to support President Barack Obama’s re-election, keep a Democratic majority in the Senate and aid other state and local candidates.” (Sam Hananel, “Unions Suffer Sharp Decline In Membership,” The Associated Press, 1/23/13)

  • Labor Unions Claim Credit For Obama’s 2012 Re-Election. “The nation’s labor unions have not been shy about claiming substantial credit for President Obama’s re-election. In a news conference Wednesday, Richard Trumka, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s president, said that without the huge push by the nation’s labor unions, Mr. Obama never would have won Ohio, Wisconsin and Nevada – and their combined 34 electoral votes.” (Steven Greenhouse, “Labor Unions Claim Credit For Obama’s Victory,” The New York Times, 11/7/12)

Unions Put Up “About Half A Billion Dollars” For Democrats In 2008. “There has been nothing coy about the Democratic presidential candidates’ courtship of Big Labor. After all, union endorsements come with armies of door-knocking, phone-calling, sign-waving foot soldiers; union leaders will spend about half a billion dollars on political campaigns this election cycle.” (Tim Miller, “Giving Away The Store,” The New York Post, 12/17/07)

BUT NOW BIG LABOR IS A LEADING CRITIC OF OBAMACARE WITH CONCERNS THAT “HAVE FALLEN ON DEAF EARS”

Labor Unions Are “Frustrated” With Obama, Claiming Their Concerns About ObamaCare “Have Fallen On Deaf Ears.” “Unions are frustrated the Obama administration hasn’t responded to their calls for changes to ObamaCare. Labor has watched with growing annoyance as the White House has backed ObamaCare changes in response to concerns from business groups, religious organizations and even lawmakers and their staffs. They say they don’t understand why their concerns so far have fallen on deaf ears.” (Kevin Bogardus, “Labor Union Frustration Boils Over With President On Obamacare,” The Hill, 9/2/13)

  • Unite Here President, D. Taylor: “‘We Are Disappointed That The Nonprofit Health Plans Offered By Unions Have Not Been Given The Same Consideration…” “‘We are disappointed that the nonprofit health plans offered by unions have not been given the same consideration as the Catholic Church, big business and Capitol Hill staffers,’ Unite Here President D. Taylor told The Hill.” (Kevin Bogardus, “Labor Union Frustration Boils Over With President On Obamacare,” The Hill, 9/2/13)

The First Union To Endorse Obama, Unite Here, Issued A Devastating Critique Of ObamaCare – That The Law Is Making Inequality Worse. “As national Democrats prepare to run against the GOP on income equality issues, a giant union has issued a scathing ObamaCare document that could undermine that case. ‘The Irony of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse’ is the title of the UNITE HERE (Culinary parent) document that is posted here and soon to be making its way to Capitol Hill. It is devastating to the Democrats.” (Jon Ralston, “Union Research Document Says Obamacare Will Hasten Income Inequality,” Ralston Reports, 3/7/14)

  • Unite Here: ObamaCare “Poses One Of The Most Immediate Challenges To Redressing Inequality.” “Ironically, the Administration’s own signature health care victory poses one of the most immediate challenges to redressing inequality.” (“The Irony Of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse,” Unite Here, 3/14)

Presidents Of The Laborers’ International Union Of North America (LIUNA) And Unite Here: “‘If The Administration Honestly Thinks That These Proposed Rules Are Responsive To Our Concerns, They Were Not Listening Or They Simply Did Not Care.”“‘If the administration honestly thinks that these proposed rules are responsive to our concerns, they were not listening or they simply did not care,’ read the letter from Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), and D. Taylor, president of Unite Here.” (Kevin Bogardus, “Unions Lash Out At ObamaCare Regs,” The Hill, 1/29/14)

  • Union Leaders: ObamaCare Will “Destroy The Foundation Of The 40 Hour Work Week That Is The Backbone Of The American Middle Class.” “Right now, unless you and the Obama Administration enact an equitable fix, the ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.” (James P. Hoffa – International Brotherhood Of Teamsters, Joseph Hansen – UFCW, D. Taylor – UNITE-HERE, ”Letter To Leader Reid And Leader Pelosi ,” 7/12/13)

According Laborers International Union Of North America President Terry O’Sullivan, ObamaCare Poses “Destructive Consequences” On Health Plans That Cover Workers.“In a letter sent to President Barack Obama on Thursday, Laborers International Union of North America President Terry O’Sullivan wrote that the law has ‘destructive consequences’ for the types of health plans that cover millions of unionized construction workers and their family members.” (Kris Maher, “Union Fears ‘Destructive Consequences’ From ObamaCare,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/19/13)

LABOR BOSSES ARE LASHING OUT AT OBAMA OVER HIS ADMINISTRATION’S DEVASTATING EPA REGULATIONS

The United Mine Workers Of America, An AFL-CIO Affiliated Union, Is Discouraged By The Administration’s New EPA Regulations. “‘The UMWA has not and does not dispute the science regarding climate change. Our dispute is with how our government is going about addressing it, and on whom the administration is placing the greatest burden in dealing with this challenge.’” (Press Release, “EPA Existing Source Emissions Rule Puts American Jobs At Risk, Does Nothing To Address Climate Change,” United Mine Workers Of America , 6/2/14)

  • UMWA President Cecil Roberts: “‘It’s Going To Be Devastating If It Goes Through In Its Current Form.” (Kris Maher, “EPA Emissions Plan Draws Protest In Pittsburgh,”The Wall Street Journal, 7/31/14)
  • Roberts: Obama’s New Rule “Will Lead To Long-Term And Irreversible Job Losses For Thousands” Of Workers. “The proposed rule issued today by the Environmental Protection Agency will lead to long-term and irreversible job losses for thousands of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers, railroad workers and others without achieving any significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions.” (Press Release, “EPA Existing Source Emissions Rule Puts American Jobs At Risk, Does Nothing To Address Climate Change, United Mine Workers Of America , 6/2/14)

UMWA Estimated That The Total Economic Impact From The Regulation Would Be “About 485,000 Permanent Jobs Lost.” “Our initial analysis indicates that there will be a loss of 75,000 direct coal generation jobs in the United States by 2020. Those are jobs primarily in coal mines, power plants, and railroads. By 2035, those job losses will more than double to 152,000. That amounts to about a 50 percent cut in these well-paying, highly skilled jobs. When a U.S. government economic multiplier used to calculate the impact of job losses is applied to the entire economy, we estimate that the total impact will be about 485,000 permanent jobs lost.” (United Mine Workers Of America, Press Release, 6/2/14)

UMWA Spokesman Phil Smith Said The New EPA Rules Are “A Direct Challenge To Our Membership, And It’s Up To Us To Deal With It.” “Phil Smith, a spokesman for the mine-workers union, said the UMWA was getting support from the AFL-CIO and other unions. He noted there weren’t any counter protests by other unions. ‘At the end of the day, this is a direct challenge to our membership, and it’s up to us to deal with it,’ he said.” (Kris Maher, “EPA Emissions Plan Draws Protest In Pittsburgh,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/31/14)

International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers President Edwin D. Hill Called Obama’s EPA Regulations “A Classic Example Of Federal Tunnel Vision-Focusing On A Single Goal With Little Heed For The Costs And Dangers.” “The EPA’s Clean Power Plan is a classic example of federal tunnel vision-focusing on a single goal with little heed for the costs and dangers. The Obama administration and Congress need to put aside partisan bickering and develop a plan for the nation’s energy future that utilizes all of America’s abundant sources of power, encourages the development of renewable energy on a large scale and replaces the inevitable lost jobs with new opportunities for a trained, skilled workforce.” (Edwin D. Hill, “Electrical Workers Vs. The EPA,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/14/14)

  • IBEW: “The EPA Has A Track Record Of Underestimating The Impact Of Its Rules, Making Faulty Predictions That Have Cost Tens Of Thousands Of Good Jobs.”“The EPA has a track record of underestimating the impact of its rules, making faulty predictions that have cost tens of thousands of good jobs … At the time, the EPA estimated only 4.7 gigawatts would be lost. Experts now confirm that 56 gigawatts will indeed be lost by 2016. Approximately 90 percent of the plants scheduled to close were required to run during last winter’s polar vortex to prevent grid disruption.” (Press Release, “IBEW Statement on EPA Carbon Emission Rules,” International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers, 6/2/14)

UNION LEADERS SLAMMED OBAMA OVER HIS ACTIONS, OR LACK THEREOF, ON THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

Terry O’Sullivan, President Of Laborers’ International Union Of North America (LIUNA), Calls Obama Administration “Gutless” For Leaving Workers Waiting On Decision. “This is once again politics at its worst. In another gutless move, the Administration is delaying a finding on whether the pipeline is in the national interest based on months-old litigation in Nebraska regarding a state level challenge to a state process — and which has nothing to with the national interest.” (Terry O’Sullivan, Laborers’ International Union of North America on Further Delay of Keystone Recommendation, Press Release, 4/18/14)

  • O’Sullivan: “It’s Not The Oil That’s Dirty, It’s The Politics.” “It’s not the oil that’s dirty, it’s the politics. Once again, the Administration is making a political calculation instead of doing what is right for the country.” (Terry O’Sullivan, Laborers’ International Union of North America on Further Delay of Keystone Recommendation, Press Release, 4/18/14)
  • O’Sullivan Says The Administration’s “Nearly-Dark-Of-Night Announcement” Of Another Keystone Delay Was Politically Motivated. “The evidence is clear: It’s the politics that are tricky. And that’s where courage comes in. No one seriously believes that the administration’s nearly-dark-of-night announcement last week, on Good Friday, that the pipeline would again be delayed was anything but politically motivated.” (Terry O’Sullivan, Op-Ed, “On The Keystone XL Pipeline, Put Policy Ahead Of Politics,” The Washington Post , 4/24/14)

Sean McGarvey, President of North America’s Building Trade Unions: Obama’s Actions Are “A Cold, Hard Slap In The Face For Hard Working Americans.” “The actions by the Obama Administration to further extend the review process for the Keystone XL pipeline is a cold, hard slap in the face for hard working Americans who are literally waiting for President Obama’s approval and the tens of thousands of jobs it will generate.” (North America’s Building Trades Unions, “Keystone XL Delay is ‘Cold, Hard Slap in the Face’ to American Workers,”Press Release , 4/21/14)

  • McGarvey: “President Obama Has Placed Politics Over Substantive Policy.”“President Obama has placed politics over substantive policy that only serves to advance the agenda of well funded radical environmentalists. Where does this leave the President’s actual core constituency of working Americans?” (North America’s Building Trades Unions, “Keystone XL Delay is ‘Cold, Hard Slap in the Face’ to American Workers,” Press Release , 4/21/14)
  • McGarvey Attacked The Obama Administration’s Hypocritical Lack Of Criticism Of “Political Spending By Liberal Billionaires That Negatively Impact The Job Prospects And Livelihoods Of Working Class Americans.” “It’s ironic that at the same time billionaire conservatives are coming under increasing scrutiny and criticism by the left for their involvement in politics, there is nary a word about the political spending by liberal billionaires that negatively impact the job prospects and livelihoods of working class Americans.” (North America’s Building Trades Unions, “Keystone XL Delay is ‘Cold, Hard Slap in the Face’ to American Workers,” Press Release , 4/21/14)

BIG LABOR’S PROBLEMS WITH OBAMA SHOULD CAUSE DEMOCRATS EVERYWHERE TO WORRY

“An Angry And Deflated Union Base Is Adding To The Midterm Woes For Congressional Democrats.” (Kevin Bogardus, “Union Frustration Adds To Dems’ Woes,” The Hill, 3/19/14)

As Construction Unemployment Remains High, O’Sullivan Said His Members Will Vote With That In Mind If Obama Doesn’t Act On Keystone. “Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America who stood beside Mr. McGarvey at their press conference in Washington Tuesday, said his members view Keystone not only as a pipeline but also as a lifeline for good jobs. The construction unemployment rate remains high, he said, and his members who see Keystone as a partial fix will vote with that in mind in November if the administration doesn’t act.” (Melanie Trottman, “Building Trades Unions Press For Keystone Approval,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/11/14)

  • O’Sullivan: “I Look At It Through Our Members’ Eyes. And Our Members Are Angry. They’re Disillusioned. They’re Disappointed. … Keystone Is Certainly One Of Those Issues On Why They Have Those Reactions.” “‘I look at it through our members’ eyes. And our members are angry. They’re disillusioned. They’re disappointed. … Keystone is certainly one of those issues on why they have those reactions,’ O’Sullivan said. ‘The State Department is going to keep doing assessments until they get the answer that they seem to be looking for.’” (Kevin Bogardus, “Union Frustration Adds To Dems,” The Hill, 3/19/14)

McGarvey, On Obama’s Keystone Inaction: “I Think The White House Needs To Worry About November.” “‘I urge the president of the United States to get on with it and approve that permit’ to build the pipeline, said Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions, an alliance of 14 unions representing workers in the U.S. and Canada. He spoke at a news conference at a Washington hotel during the building trades’ legislative conference. ‘I think the White House needs to worry about November,’ he said when asked what he and other building trades union officials would do if the White House doesn’t act soon.” (Melanie Trottman, “Building Trades Unions Press For Keystone Approval,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/11/14)

Due To ObamaCare, Labor Members Are “Less Likely” To Turn Out For Democrats This November. “After dozens of frustrating meetings with White House officials over the past year, including one with Obama, a number of angry labor officials say their members are far less likely to campaign and turn out for Democratic candidates in the midterm elections.” (Steven Mufson and Tom Hamburger, “Labor Union Officials Say Obama Betrayed Them In Health-Care Rollout,” The Washington Post , 1/31/14)

  • “Union Officials Expect The Health-Care Controversy To Intensify A Raging Debate Within The Labor Movement Over How Deeply Labor Should Invest In Democratic Party Candidates.” (Steven Mufson and Tom Hamburger, “Labor Union Officials Say Obama Betrayed Them In Health-Care Rollout,” The Washington Post , 1/31/14)

Union Leaders Have Vowed To “Withhold Resources From Democrats” In Order To Hold Them Accountable For Their ObamaCare Vote. “Other union leaders plan to withhold resources from Democrats caught in competitive Senate races, saying they want hold their allies accountable for past actions.” (Kevin Bogardus, “Union Frustration Adds To Dems’ Woes,” The Hill, 3/19/14)

D. Taylor, The Head Of Unite Here: “It’s Almost Impossible To Get Excited For Any Election With The Loss Of Our Health Plans Looming Over Us And No Fix In Sight.” “‘I’m not thinking about November elections, nor are my members,’ Taylor said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. ‘It’s almost impossible to get excited for any election with the loss of our health plans looming over us and no fix in sight.’” (Laura Myers, “Nevada Unions Could Split With Democrats Over ObamaCare,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2/8/14)

Danny Thompson, Executive Secretary-Treasurer Of The AFL-CIO: Workers Make Decisions About Elections And He “Can’t Imagine The Threat To Their Health Plans Won’t Be A Factor.” “‘Union members have serious concerns with how the ACA will affect their plans,’ he said in a statement. ‘We have to prioritize. Workers will make the decision about elections. I can’t imagine the threat to their health plans won’t be a factor.’” (Laura Myers, “Nevada Unions Could Split With Democrats Over ObamaCare,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2/8/14)


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