Unite Here is a labor union that has been around for over one hundred years. They represent workers, mostly immigrants and females who work in the hotel, airlines, food service, gaming, textile, laundry, manufacturing, distribution and transportation industries. They claim to have a membership of over 300,000 workers in the US and Canada, most of which are blacks, Hispanics and Asian. According to their website:
“Through organizing, UNITE HERE members have made apparel jobs in the South, hotel housekeeping jobs in cities across North America, and hundreds of thousands of other traditionally low-wage jobs into good, family-sustaining, middle class jobs.”
You would expect that most unions are supportive of Barack Obama, especially one that represents lower income workers, minorities and women. However, that does not seem to be the case with Unite Here union boss Donald Taylor. In a recent report titled The Irony of Obamacare: Making Inequality Worse issued by the union, it sees Obamacare as extremely problematic for lower income workers like those the union represents.
Their report was based upon a number of other reports by the government and private sectors, along with public polls and various statements made by government officials. They plan on delivering their report to pro-union members of Congress, claiming that lower income workers will be taking the brunt of Obamacare while the insurance companies fill their coffers with government subsidies.
The report stated:
“If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage.”
“Only in Washington could asking the bottom of the middle class to finance health care for the poorest families be seen as reducing inequality. Without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage.”
Taylor added that the Obama administration is forcing union healthcare into a death spiral. He wrote:
“Believe me; I enter this entire debate about the consequences of the ACA with a deep reluctance. Unite Here was the first union to endorse then-Senator Obama. We support the addition of health care to millions of Americans. Yet facts are facts, and Obamacare will cost our members the equivalent of a significant pay cut to keep their hard-won benefits.”
“The information addresses the very unfortunate irony of Obamacare. Namely, that it will inevitably lead to the destruction of the health care plans we were promised we could keep. And, as a result, it will lead to greater income inequality for the very segment of the population Obamacare should want to help most.”
Taylor also said that Washington Democrats are trying to tell the unions to shut up and stop complaining and just take one for the team. He said that a Senate aide said:
“Labor needs to regress to the mean. In other words, roll back what you have and take one for the team. Ironic, given that Congress and the president carved out an exemption for staffers on the ACA. We cannot sit idly by as the politicians carve up our health plans while they carve out exceptions for themselves and every special interest feeding at the trough in Washington.”
Hopefully, this will be enough for unions like Unite Here to realize just how little Obama and his Washington disciples care for the people that supported him and voted him into office. Republicans running for office 2014 need to capitalize on this and make it part of their campaign. However, they also need to have a viable alternative which I keep hearing is being worked on, but that’s just like telling a creditor that the check is in the mail when you never wrote it.