Card Check: What a Disappointing White House Meeting for Labor

By July 13, 2009Labor Unions

Judging by the news coverage and statements from organized labor, President Obama did little to encourage the union leaders who came to the White House today.

The meeting was closed doors, did not include photos or comments for the media, and then the President stepped on labor’s big moment by announcing the Surgeon General.

David Shepardson of The Detroit News had the most complete story, “AFL-CIO, UAW, Teamsters meet with Obama,” with such reports as, “United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger did not attend. UAW Secretary-Treasury Elizabeth Bunn attended the meeting instead. She said it was a ‘great meeting’ but declined to elaborate as she exited the White House.”

And People’s Weekly World dug out this nugget: “A top aid [sic] to one of the union leaders present at a White House meeting with President Obama today said the president remains firmly committed to passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, the bill that would make it easier to unionize.

‘He told the leaders that his administration is firmly committed to the bill but as of now there is no formal timeline on when it would get to his desk,’ the aid said.”

AP, meanwhile, reported that they talked and not much more.

Solidarity!

UPDATE (6:30 p.m.): The White House provides more information about the meeting, but not much more: “The President met with more than a dozen labor leaders for approximately 45 minutes. The President was joined by Secretary Solis. It was a productive conversation about shared priorities like creating jobs, health care reform and the Employee Free Choice Act.” And a list of attendees.

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