Hotel Union Boss Blasts Obamacare in Meeting with McConnell

Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 11:18 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The head of the national hotel workers union has expressed his outrage over Obamacare hurting union members financially and even held private talks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about the disastrous healthcare reform law, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Donald “D” Taylor, the general president of UNITE-HERE, said that the union is “bitterly disappointed” with President’s Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy, the Affordable Care Act.

McConnell revealed that Taylor, who is based in Las Vegas, had requested a meeting with him on Tuesday while the union boss was in Washington.

The Kentucky Republican, an outspoken opponent of Obamacare, said, “It was a fairly brief meeting but it’s safe to say this is a good example of some of the president’s union constituents who were very enthusiastically for him, who think Obamacare has been a disaster for them.”

The meeting, which was the first between the pair, is likely to be seen as a slap in the face to Nevada’s Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

According to Reid’s office, Taylor had not scheduled a meeting with the Democratic chief, even though they have a close working relationship. Asked about Taylor’s Obamacare criticism, Reid replied, “I’ll talk with D.”

Taylor had previously joined with James Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and Joseph Hansen, international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, to send a letter to Reid claiming that Obamacare would have dire consequences for workers.

They noted that the law requires businesses to provide health coverage to employees working more than 30 hours a week, which had resulted in employers cutting workers to avoid the mandate.

“The impact is twofold: Fewer hours mean less pay while also losing our current health benefits. We have a problem. You need to fix it."

Taylor’ recent meeting with McConnell comes just a week after the union leader and Terry O’Sullivan, of the Laborers’ International Union of America, sent another letter about the problems with Obamacare to Reid and to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

According to the Review-Journal, the letter said that union proposals about changing the new healthcare regulations were being ignored by the Obama administration. Union leaders claim that their union-negotiated health insurance coverage is being subjected to new taxes and expensive mandates.

They wrote, “It would be a sad irony indeed if the signature legislative accomplishment for an administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle income and low-wage workers.”

In an interview with the Washington Post last week, Taylor said that unions feel they have been betrayed by Obama for not giving workers special protections under the Affordable Care Act.

“We want to hold the president to his word: 'If you like your health-care coverage, you can keep it,' and that just hasn’t been the case,” Taylor told the Post.

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