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Leftist Policies Alienate Big Labor from Obama and Mean Less Prosperity for All

Big labor unions that supported Obamacare are learning the meaning of “you reap what you sow” the hard way.  Teamsters, UNITE-HERE, and the United Food and Commercial Workers are among many unions that worked for the passage of Obamacare.  But now relations between Big Labor and President Obama have soured – and that’s putting it lightly.

Why are union members so angry?

Obamacare!  Obamacare is a threat to union members’ jobs, and it is already endangering generous health care plans that unions have negotiated for their members.  Obamacare means higher taxes, onerous regulations, oppressive mandates, and higher health care costs for unions.  Consequently, it also means fewer full-time jobs and less hours of work.

But Obamacare isn’t the only leftist policy infuriating unions. 

The Washington Free Beacon (WFB) reports that labor groups are also angry about the “administration’s aggressive Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.”

Indeed, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) found that America has lost between 13,000 and 17,000 coal jobs due to EPA regulations.  Pennsylvania lost and estimated 3,000 coal-related jobs in Obama’s first term.

WFB adds:

Dr. Steve Allen, a labor expert with the Capital Research Center, said that reliable union support for Obama has actually hurt Big Labor’s standing with the Democratic Party.

“If an interest group can be counted on 100 percent of the time, they don’t have a strong bargaining position—the same as a group that is 100 percent against you,” he said.

Allen said that if the Democratic Party continues to ignore union concerns, union members might ignore Big Labor’s call to support the Democratic Party.

Big government policies are harming some of their biggest supporters; unions and labor groups are being crushed under the weight of the very regulations for which they once advocated.

In a resolution from the AFL-CIO’s Nevada chapter, the group stated:

The unintended consequences of the [Affordable Care Act] will lead to the destruction of the 40-hour work week, higher taxes, and force union members onto more costly plans—eventually destroying [union health plans] completely.

The Heritage Foundation recently produced a report entitled “How to Limit Government in the Age of Obama.”  Clearly that is no small task.  In the report, health care expert Robert E. Moffit noted:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be a great challenge over the next couple of years. I think you can look to the states. There you are going to see a resurgence of popular passion to preserve and extend personal liberty, to protect the rights of property and retaliate against excessive taxation. You already see it in the ongoing debate over Obamacare, the power of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the role of government itself, fueled by record deficits and mounting debt.

The size and scope and power of the federal government are once again a source of popular anxieties. A recent survey shows that 64 percent of voters said that Washington has too much money and too much power. That means that this debate can be won if conservatives frame the argument correctly and offer attractive policy alternatives. There is no reason why we have to grovel before the administrative state.

This turn of events – labor unions seeing the light on Obamacare and other aspects of big government – demonstrates that no one truly likes big government unless they think they’re the beneficiaries.  But in the end, big government means less freedom and less prosperity for everyone.

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2 thoughts on “Leftist Policies Alienate Big Labor from Obama and Mean Less Prosperity for All

  1. As a former union member (UAW, AFL-CIO, Teamsters), I think you might be referring to the growing divide between union leadership and what we used to refer to as the “rank and file” employees. What you refer to as Big Labor (i.e., leadership) may be reluctantly responding to the rank and file – they will never give up their place “at the table” with the Democrats. I noticed some real opposition to United Mine Worker leadership immediately prior to the 2012 elections when several hundred coal mineworkers tried to be heard regarding White House and EPA closing coal mines. There was very little reported about those brave souls – that is a union people have learned not to trifle with, let alone outright oppose in public.
    I know that “right to work” is a separate issue (sort of) but the news from Wisconsin and elsewhere regarding public vs. private employee unions indicates that there is a huge rift in sentiment out there – many believe that government employee unions should be prohibited but see an historically important role for private employee unions. On the other hand, what seems like Republican opposition to all unionization leaves union employees between a rock and a hard place when choosing between political parties.

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