Union leaders urged Vice President Joe Biden during a White House meeting last month to go to Wisconsin and rally the faithful in their fight against Gov. Scott Walker…
Request rebuffed, they asked for Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. So far, however, the White House has stayed away from any trips to Madison, the state capital, or other states in the throes of union battles. The Obama administration is treading carefully on the contentious political issue that has led to a national debate over the power that public sector unions wield in negotiating wages and benefits.
A few labor leaders have complained openly that President Barack Obama is ignoring a campaign pledge he made to stand with unions; most others say his public comments have been powerful enough.
Townhall: Unions Skittish Over Obama
Three years ago, almost to the day, candidate Barack Obama told an AFL-CIO convention here, “It’s time we had a president who didn’t choke saying the word ‘union.’”
Amid feverish chants of “Yes we can!” he then threw the crowd the raw meat it wanted: his support for the Employee Free Choice Act.
“I will make it the law of the land when I’m president of the United States,” Obama promised.
Battling union Obama-skeptics at the time, Bill George, then president of Pennsylvania’s AFL-CIO, whispered: “We will need to do an all-out effort to educate our members, that he will make card-check” – slang for EFCA – “happen for working families, to win this in November.”
A promise made where organized labor began, in 1827 behind Independence Hall, was not a promise kept. In fact, it was never even brought up in the 111th Congress.
The last time card-check saw life was in 2007, when it passed the House but died in the Senate.