Unions dig in for Obama despite disappointment with his record

By Kevin Bogardus – 09/03/12 09:48 PM ET

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Organized labor is working hard for President Obama, looking upon him as the lesser of two evils compared to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Labor has been repeatedly let down by Obama, who didn’t put his strength behind legislation that would have made it easier to organize unions and signed trade deals opposed by workers.

Unions only reluctantly supported his healthcare law, which lacked the public option championed by labor. And they were deeply upset by his decision to extend the Bush-era tax rates for the wealthy in a December 2010 deal with congressional Republicans. Continue reading “Unions dig in for Obama despite disappointment with his record”

Public union’s political director: Members to be ‘pivotal’ for Dems in Midwest races

By Kevin Bogardus – 09/02/12 06:00 AM ET

The political director for the nation’s largest public sector union said its members will prove “pivotal” in Midwestern swing states – including Wisconsin — for President Obama and Democrats come the November elections.

Brian Weeks, as the new political director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), told The Hill that state-level battles over public workers’ collective bargaining rights have fired up the union’s members for the fall campaign.

“It’s definitely one of the areas where we will be pivotal. We have a lot of membership in those Rust Belt states,” Weeks said. “The battles our members fought in Ohio, Wisconsin as well as Michigan have kept them engaged and ready for these coming elections.”

Weeks has been on the job for about a month after stepping into the shoes of Larry Scanlon, who retired earlier this year after spending nearly 17 years as AFSCME’s political director.  Continue reading “Public union’s political director: Members to be ‘pivotal’ for Dems in Midwest races”