Friday, August 30, 2013

Unions Seek Obamacare Repair
A man, sir, should try to keep his friendship in constant repair.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President and James Hoffa, head of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters,  met this week at the White House with Denis McDonough,  Obama’s chief of staff, to do repair work on Obamacare friendship.  

There’s has been a falling out between unions and the White House over the dramatic shift from full-time to part-time work.   Obamacare penalizes businesses with 50 or more workers that do not offer health coverage for those workers. Businesses have reacted  by shifting  5 of 6 new workers to a 29 hour week.
Unions have always been steadfast Democrat friends.   But the big shift to part-time work over the last six months has tested the friendship.  Signs of the fraying friendship surfaced in a July  in a letter to  Democrats, Harry Reid, Senate majority leader,  and Nancy Pelosi House minority leader, which read, in part:
““We believe that there are common-sense corrections that can be made within the existing statute that will allow our members to continue to keep their current health plans and benefits just as you and the president pledged,” they wrote, “Unless changes are made, however, that promise is hollow.”
The letter went on to say unions feared the health law could “shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”
“Since the ACA was enacted, we have been bringing our deep concerns to the administration, seeking reasonable regulatory interpretations to the statute that would help prevent the destruction of non-profit health plans. As you both know first-hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stone wall by the White House and the pertinent agencies. This is especially stinging because other stakeholders have repeatedly received successful interpretations for their respective grievances. Most disconcerting of course is … the huge accommodation for the employer community -- extending the statutorily mandated 'December 31, 2013’ deadline for the employer mandate and penalties.”
Of the outcome of  White House conference this week,  Trumka and White House officials were reluctant to say more. Of the shift to part-time work, Trumka commented, “That is obviously something that no one intended, That’s something that needs to be addressed, and I’m sure that we’ll continue to work on it.”
The friendship repair  is on.   Whether the fix will involve waiver or favors for union members is not  known.   The public is already upset over the favors rendered to Congressional staffs and other Obama allies.
Tweet:   Union leaders met at White House to try to fix Obamacare-induced shift from full-time to part-time work: 40 hour week is goal of unions.

No comments: