Obama Labor Snub Has Unions Worried

With no secretary yet among Obama's economic team, labor mulls role, agenda
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Nov 26, 2008 11:01 AM CST
Linda Kincaid, a member of the Culinary Workers Union Las Vegas local, cheers during a January news conference for presidential candidate Barack Obama.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Labor unions campaigned hard for Barack Obama, but are now worried he may have taken them for a ride, Politico reports. Unions noted with concern that there was no labor secretary-designate among the economic advisers introduced Monday, suggesting Obama isn’t emphasizing the position. “I hope they take that job seriously,” says David Bonior, a former congressman and member of the transition team.

While there’s little doubt that the eventual choice will be friendly to unions, the worry is that the secretary won’t have much influence in the Cabinet. Meantime, likely appointees have either disqualified themselves or are involved in feuds that have buffeted the movement. Unions are also debating whether they should push specific agenda items or ask Obama for a general pro-labor stance.