In making our daily rounds of organized labor’s online fulminating about the Employee Free Choice Act, we spotted a new AFL-CIO blog post promoting a fundraiser next Tuesday at the union’s headquarters, “Come Out Tuesday for the Best View in D.C.” The post takes you to a website promoting the event, with the intro:
We’ve waited eight long years to see a friend across Lafayette Park. It’s the perfect time to step out on the AFL-CIO balcony, hear great music, celebrate what we have accomplished toward winning the Employee Free Choice Act and ramp up our push by contributing to the Turn Around America Fund.
Now, no one begrudges the AFL-CIO its great view; lots of forced union dues helped pay for that building, and it’s a nice spot.
But we’re still curious about that balcony. In the original post promoting the event (first scheduled for May 11), the union declared (our emphasis):
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 towards winning the Employee Free Choice Act and move forward in our continuing efforts to turn around America.
But as noted in this Washington Post story, the balcony was closed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, for security reasons.
So what’s the deal? Is there less a need for security precautions now? Did the unions ask the White House nicely, and the balcony was reopened? Or are the various chest-thumping statements by the AFL-CIO just the usual posturing, and the balcony was reopened long ago?
FOIA request, anyone?
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