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40,000 longshoremen quit the AFL-CIO, citing Obamacare

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 2nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The 40,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in a surprise move have announced that they have formally ended their association with the AFL-CIO. The Longshoremen cited their dissolution from one of the nation's largest private sector unions over both Obamacare and immigration reform.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Citing both health care reform and immigration as the two most important causes of their disaffiliation, ILWU President Robert McEllrath cited a long list of grievances in a letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Most prominent among them was the AFL-CIO's support of Obamcare.

"We feel the Federation has done a great disservice to the labor movement and all working people by going along to get along," McEllrath wrote in the letter.

McEllrath made it clear they are for a single-payer, nationalized healthcare policy. The longshoremen are upset with the AFL-CIO for going along with Obama on the confiscatory tax on their "Cadillac" healthcare plan.

"President Obama ran on a platform that he would not tax medical plans and at the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention, you stated that labor would not stand for a tax on our benefits," McEllrath wrote in the letter.

Regardless of that promise, Obama has rallied for just such a tax. Both Trumka and the AFL-CIO have bowed to political pressure lining up behind Obama's tax on those plans.

McEllrath also went on to say that they support stronger immigration reform than the AFL-CIO is supporting.

ILWU Coast Committeeman Leal Sundet, went even harsher, criticized the AFL-CIO telling LaborNotes.com that Trumka was marching "in lockstep" with Obama both on the "Cadillac healthcare tax" as well as immigration.

Sundet slammed Obama's immigration plan saying it is "designed to give [only] highly-paid workers a real path to citizenship."

Private sector unions have fallen to an all time low participation rate in the US workforce. Unionized workers now account for only 11.3 percent of the U.S. workforce.

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