SEIU on strike over Obamacare-related cuts
President Obama's biggest organized labor booster, the Service Employee International Union (SEIU), has gone on strike against a janitorial company because of reduced employee hours. The company cited Obamacare as the culprit, cutting hours for some employees because of insurance costs.
Members of the Chicago-based Service Employees International Union Local 1 have gone on strike over recent job cuts by a janitorial company called Professional Maintenance.
The reason for the cuts? The employer says it is because of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This is ironic since SEIU is a major supporter of the law.
Tyler French, Local 1's organizing director, told Mediatrackers Ohio the company claimed it had to cut its employees' hours due to Obamacare mandates.
French did not believe the explanation, though, calling it the "latest excuse in a long line of many that we've seen from corporate America."
But others throughout the organized labor movement have warned that such actions will be a direct consequence of the President Obama's health care law.
At the AFL-CIO's convention in Los Angeles earlier this month, Loretta Johnson, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers, said it was already happening in her union.
"We are seeing employer after employer cut hours so as to avoid the 30-hour definition of a full-time job," Johnson said. The AFL-CIO passed a resolution demanding either Congress or Obama fix the law to stop it from hurting union members.
Under Obamacare, once a person works more than 30 hours a week, that person counts toward the requirement that companies provide insurance if they have more than 50 employees.
The irony in this case is rich. And the union's denial of the reason for the cuts is childish. We have seen union after union plead with Obama for relief. Some received waivers that allow them to delay implementation of Obamacare's rules and regulations. But most find themselves stuck with a law that is going to impoverish their members. It just never occurred to these labor bosses that a government program could actually harm them.
If Democrats maintain control of the Senate, this could be the first order of business in 2015 - amend Obamacare by lowering the number of hours that define full time work, or simply forcing employers to cover part time workers as well.
As with everything else related to Obamacare, the law of unintended consequences rules.