WaPo: "Labor union officials say Obama betrayed them in health-care rollout"

Posted: Feb 03, 2014 12:01 AM

"Betrayed" is not a word normally found in the same sentence with "Labor Union Officials" and "Barack Obama." But, now it is. And, of all places, it's in a Washington Post headline. Change may have indeed come to the White House.

According to the WaPo feature story, the fall out between Obama and Big Labor runs deep and wide and is all about the broken promises with ObamaCare. Here's an excerpt:

“We want to hold the president to his word: If you like your health-care coverage, you can keep it, and that just hasn’t been the case,” said Donald “D.” Taylor, president of Unite Here, the union that represents about 400,000 hotel and restaurant workers and provided a crucial boost to Obama by endorsing him just after his rival Hillary Rodham Clinton had won the New Hampshire primary.

Taylor and Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, laid out their grievances this week in a terse letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), saying they are “bitterly disappointed” in the administration.

Labor bosses have had "dozens of frustrating meetings" with top administration officials and Obama himself over the last year with nothing to show for it. The White House responds that they tweaked the rules to take care of the unions grievances and promises made. But, Taylor and O'Sullivan aren't buying it:
“If the administration honestly thinks that these proposed rules are responsive to our concerns, they were not listening or they simply did not care.”
The Labor Bosses are not quite ready to jump to the GOP, but the universally dependable blind loyalty, open checkbooks, and armies of Democrat campaign workers may be a casualty of the bitter ObamaCare fallout.
Labor may not immediately support every Republican candidate in 2014, but they did endorse Chris Christie for re-election and sent $300,000 to the Republican Governors Association which Christie chairs.
What is likely is that the unions will be take a seat on the sidelines rather than supply much of the muscle in the middle of the campaign playing field as they have in the recent past.
“You can’t just order people to do stuff,” Taylor said. “If their health plan gets wrecked, why would they then go campaign for the folks responsible for wrecking their health care?”
In the same way that Obama and the Democrats lied to the rest of the American people about ObamaCare, it is apparent to Taylor and O'Sullivan that they were played for fools, too.

Taylor said Unite Here officials have met with White House officials 48 times. At the time the health-care bill was being considered, he said, “we were told that ‘if there were problems, don’t worry, we’ll get them fixed.’?”

“We thought that if we made the case to the agencies dealing with regulations to correct problems that hurt, really destroy, self-funded nonprofit health plans, it would be resolved,” Taylor said. “That clearly was naive or stupid.”

Big Labor operates with its own set of rules and inside a unique culture, but union members are just like all the rest of us in one very significant way: No one likes being lied to. This could be an ugly and costly break up for the Democrats in the middle of an already ominously challenging election year.