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Obama’s Union Problems

RNC Communications - August 24, 2011

Union Enthusiasm Fades

President Barack Obama faces waning enthusiasm from union members as he prepares for his 2012 re- election bid, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.  “It will be more challenging this time than it was last time to motivate our members,” Trumka, 61, said in an interview today at Bloomberg’s offices in Washington.  Trumka, head of the largest U.S. labor organization, said union members are frustrated by “wasted energy” in Washington on issues that he said don’t help workers: “hysteria” about the federal deficit, a White House review of regulations and Obama’s support for free-trade agreements. (Holly Rosenkrantz and Stephanie Armour, “Union Enthusiasm for Obama Re-Election Fades, AFL-CIO’s Chief Trumka Says,” Bloomberg, 06/01/11)

AFL-CIO To Obama – Where Are The Jobs?

A top labor union echoed Republicans in their question for President Obama ahead of his Twitter town hall on Wednesday afternoon.  "Where are the jobs?" the AFL-CIO asked Obama on its Twitter page, picking up on a refrain more typical of angry Republican lawmakers than labor groups. (Michael O'Brien, “AFL-CIO's Twitter question for Obama: 'Where are the jobs?,'” The Hill, 07/06/11)

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Turns Up Pressure For Jobs

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has posed a mighty challenge to President Barack Obama: When it comes to job creation, offer solutions that match the scale of the problem.  In an appearance on MSNBC Monday, Mr. Trumka said the nation needs a jobs agenda that amounts to more than just “sound bites” from U.S. leaders. (Melanie Trottman, Trumka Turns Up Pressure for Jobs,” Wall Street Journal, 08/08/11)

Former SEIU Leader: People Are Not Looking For Rhetoric, They Are Looking For A Changed Reality

But Andy Stern, the former Service Employees International Union leader who frequently advised Mr Obama in his first two years in office, says the president must stop hammering points that seem out of touch with the daily struggles of middle-class Americans, who want to hear about jobs.  The administration has shown “no passion”, Mr Stern says, for implementing recommendations by his own jobs council, led by General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt.  “People are not looking for new rhetoric, they are looking for a changed reality. And right now, reality is pretty scary,” Mr Stern says. (Stephanie Kirchgaessner, “Obama’s image takes a beating,”Financial Times, 08/02/11)

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