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Mon Feb 9, 2015, 10:03 AM

Angry over trade, labor gets union-friendly pitch from Obama (TPP)

X post in Labor & GD

I'm against this Mr President!




WASHINGTON (AP) On a cold overcast morning in January, President Barack Obama briefly delayed his departure for an Iowa day-trip to huddle in the Oval Office with AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams. The topic was Obama's upcoming State of the Union address.

A week earlier, Obama had invited Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, and Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers, to fly with him to Michigan aboard Air Force One.

It was VIP treatment for leaders of a labor movement whose relationship with Obama had never been close and at times had been downright chilly. Obama was stepping up his call for new trade deals with Asia and Europe and his fight with some labor unions promised to be as bitter as President Bill Clinton's during debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement. But Obama was also seeking to court unions with an economic pitch straight out of the labor policy book.

By the time he addressed a joint session of Congress days later, he had tucked in a shout-out to unions the likes of which labor had seldom heard in a State of the Union speech:

FULL story at link.

FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama listens to a question during a meeting with leading CEOs to discuss ways to promote the economy and create jobs, at the Business Roundtable Headquarters in Washington. President Barack Obama's push for trade deals with Asia and Europe has angered organized labor, setting up a tense fight with a key element of his voting coalition. But Obama wants to keep the anger to a simmer by pitching economic initiatives straight out of labor's working class agenda. The result is a complicated alliance that has never had a strong bond. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

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