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Latest News - December 2010

December 18, 2010
Unhappy union leaders get their turn with Obama
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Two days after business executives had their turn at the White House, President Obama met with union leaders fuming about his decision to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy Americans.                             

Union officials declined to offer much in the way of details about the talks, but the White House has been concerned about the harsh criticism from union leaders, and the meeting was seen as an effort to get the relationship back on track.

“We had a good conversation with President Obama about the economic crisis and the importance of the labor movement in rebuilding the economy and the middle class,’’ said Richard Trumka, the AFL-CIO president.

Union officials were expected to be blunt with Obama about their unhappiness over the tax deal, a recent trade agreement with South Korea, and the decision to freeze pay for federal workers. The meeting ended just minutes before Obama signed the tax bill into law.

Obama’s ties with business leaders have been punctuated by sharp acrimony over issues such as health care, bonus pay, and financial regulations. His standing with labor is bolstered by the long link between union leaders and the Democratic Party.

The trade deal has received support from the United Auto Workers because of provisions regarding auto exports, but most other unions have pledged to work against its passage in Congress.



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