A dozen union leaders will huddle with President Obama in the White House this week. Here’s what they’re talking about.
Labor leaders in general are in favor of passage of Obama’s healthcare initiatives. They want to kick around some of the specifics:
- They oppose enacting a tax on employee-provided health benefits to help finance healthcare reform. Fact is, a lot of union members get their health coverage through their employers, so organized labor isn’t keen on taxing the benefit.
- They support the so-called public option for health coverage, in which a government entity offers insurance and competes with private providers.
Employee Free Choice Act
The original proposal sought to make unionization easier by offering a “card check” provision instead of a vote. The bill has hit a speed bump because supporters haven’t been able to rustle up 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster, and the seating of liberal Democrat Al Franken isn’t seen as the tipping point for getting passage.
All of that has forced union organizers to look at alternatives and compromises. They’ll be looking to the President for encouragement and ideas.
Bottom line: The card-check provision of EFCA may be dead, but the bill isn’t — yet.