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Well, He’s A Good Fellow…

March 18, 2009
tags: Employee Free Choice Act, labor unions, Travis Childers
by Brett

That was the reaction of Robert Shaffer, president of the Mississippi AFL-CIO, when the Daily Journal contacted him to get the labor group’s opinion on Travis Childers decision to oppose EFCA.

Shaffer went on to say that Childers explained his opposition because that was the sentiment of his district, but the Congressman’s vote doesn’t make any difference. I am not sure if he meant it doesn’t make any difference as the AFL-CIO will continue to support him, or any difference in the final House vote (which is true).

The more I thought about this, it seemed a little strange that Shaffer is so forgiving. After all, if Mississippi Right-to-Life endorsed a candidate who went on to oppose the partial-birth abortion ban (for example), I imagine they would be upset. And rightly so.

Over the past year, various labor groups have sent out press release taking credit for Childers victory, and stating his support for EFCA (similar to the flier I posted earlier).

This includes the Service Employees International Union, the Communication Workers of America, and the AFL-CIO.

Check below the fold to see what labor was saying about Childers in 2008.

Here are some sample statements from those press releases:

From the AFL-CIO:

The Mississippi AFL-CIO endorsed Childers, a Democrat, for the seat left open by the appointment of Republican Rep. Roger Wicker to the Senate…He (Childers) also pledged to support the Employee Free Choice Act.

From the CWA:

CWAers and union members throughout Mississippi pulled together to bring about a stunning election victory as Democrat Travis Childers won election to the U.S. House of Representatives from the traditionally Republican first congressional district. CWA locals coordinated efforts with political alliance partner the United Steel Workers.

From the SEIU:

Members and leaders of the nation’s strongest and fastest growing union, the Service Employees International Union, tonight extend their congratulations to Travis Childers for his reelection to the U.S. House from Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District.

SEIU spent $27,471 on direct mail independent expenditures and contacted close to 100,000 voters to get out the vote in support of Childers.

Now…members are staying out in the streets and holding our new leaders accountable for the promises they made over this past campaign season on…restoring workers’ freedom to join unions (the Employee Free Choice Act).

Shaffer may say it’s not a big deal, but national labor groups don’t see it that way. They didn’t spending hundreds of millions of dollars this past campaign year to be able to simply label elected officials ‘pro-labor,’ they spent the money so they will support the Employee Free Choice Act- plain and simple.

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