The AFL-CIO blog has posted an invitation to a fundraiser at its Washington HQ in May. It’s quite interesting for being so knee-jerk misleading, a rewrite of history.
Here’s what we mean (our emphasis):
If you’ll be in Washington, D.C., May 11, come join us at the AFL-CIO for a beautiful view, food, music and a chance to take part in the fight for the Employee Free Choice Act.The AFL-CIO is located across the street from Lafayette Park, and we have a one-of-a-kind view of the White House from our eighth-floor balcony. For the past eight years, the balcony has been closed. But now that we have a friendly new neighbor, we’re re-opening it for a reception to celebrate what we’ve accomplished and move forward in our continuing efforts to turn around America.
The obvious impression is that the AFL-CIO closed the balcony to protest the Bush Administration’s anti-worker policies.
But here’s the start of a September 2002 Washington Post story, “For AFL-CIO and White House, The Great Divide Is Deepening; Administration Courts Teamsters, Other Labor Groups”
When AFL-CIO officials wander onto the eighth-floor balcony of their Washington headquarters, armed guards appear a block away at the White House and the Secret Service is on the phone, telling the union leaders to get back inside, PDQ.
These two powerful institutions, the House of Labor and the White House, are not literally at war — the guards are part of post-Sept. 11 security.
So the AFL-CIO’s courageous stand of principle was, in fact, a security measure ordered by the White House.
Maybe there have been developments in the intervening eight years, but c’mon. It’s a fundraiser for the dishonestly named Employee Free Choice Act, we grant you, but you don’t need to continue the deception in a simple little invitation.
P.S. Actually it’s a good news story if the Obama Administration has relaxed security measures around the White House. Or is it just a White House dispensation for the AFL-CIO?
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