September 7, 2009
Union beefs with Obama going public
Formerly well-hidden friction between the Obama administration and his supporters in organized labor is spilling out into the open, U.S. analysts say.
While still professing strong support for President Barack Obama, labor leaders are becoming increasingly frustrated by what they see as the slow pace of implementing promises made by Obama the candidate during last year's presidential campaign, and are becoming more willing to voice their reservations in public, The New York Times reported Monday.
Even as Obama planned to spend the Labor Day holiday attending an AFL-CIO picnic in Cincinnati, the union group's incoming president, Richard Trumka, set off alarm bells last week by vowing to oppose any healthcare reform bill that didn't include a government-run
public option, the newspaper said.
Obama has not yet found the time to push for labor's top priority, the so-called
card-check unionization measure, which would make it easier for workers to organize.
Unions are also irked that Obama has backed away from a pledge to reopen negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement, while the United Steelworkers are pressing the president to punish China for flooding the market with cheap tires, The Times said.