FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Under ObamaCare Scheme, Union Bosses Win While Workers And Taxpayers Lose
Back in 2009, when union bosses and their Democrat minions in Congress rushed through passage of the so-called Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), it was ‘d*mn the consequences! We need to pass ‘healthcare for all NOW!’
However, while union bosses claimed a victory, their members are now learning the hard lesson that their union bosses’ actions have consequences—intended and unintended.
Worse, while workers are suffering cuts in jobs, cuts in hours and being dropped to part-time status, union bosses are not only insulated from the most harmful effects of ObamaCare but, in some cases, union bosses are finding themselves with cushy new roles as well.
The most recent example of a bad idea gone worse was illustrated last week when UNITE-HERE—a union representing 270,000 workers throughout the U.S. and Canada who work in the hotel, gaming, food service, and laundry industries— protested last week outside the U.S. Capitol where ‘dozens’ of Sodexo workers “demanded” the closing of an ObamaCare loophole that allows companies to reclassify workers to part-time status.
According to UNITE-HERE’s press release:
Sodexo began to exploit this loophole in January, when the company re-classified 10,000 of its full-time employees part-time by changing the way it calculates full-time status. Blaming Obamacare, Sodexo now says school year workers have to average more than 30 hours a week on a 52-week calendar in order to qualify for benefits like healthcare and sick days—even though many don’t work year-round. As a result, 4,000 of these workers have been cut off from access to their existing health plans, in addition to losing paid sick leave and vacation pay. Though Obamacare does not mandate such cuts, nothing in the law prevents employers like Sodexo from changing the way it calculates full-time status, cutting off health benefits, and avoiding penalties under the law. [Emphasis added.]
While many companies have already begun cutting their numbers of full-time workers to part-time status, union bosses don’t have to worry about their jobs being reduced to part-time or their healthcare being cut. Not at all.
In fact, most union bosses (and their staffs) of most major unions get their health care (as well as retirement pensions) paid for by their union members’ dues.
By way of example, according to 2013 reports on file with the U.S. Department of Labor, UNITE-HERE spent $9.9 million on “benefits.” Much of this money went to the pay for the officers and their staffs’ health care and retirement.
Though UNITE-HERE’s President, Donald “D” Taylor has publicly blasted ObamaCare in recent months, both he and his wife are faring pretty well with ObamaCare.
According to the Washington Examiner, both D Taylor and his wife, Bobbette Bond, are now sitting on the board of directors for the tax-payer-funded Nevada Health CO-OP, “the Silver State’s only Obamacare co-op.”
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded the Nevada Health CO-OP $66 million in 2012 in the form of a tax-free loan.
UNITE HERE’s Culinary Health Fund sponsored the co-op’s application for the loan. The fund is the union’s self-financed health insurance program.
The $66 million came from nearly $2 billion in Obamacare funding CMS used to help fund 23 of the “consumer-oriented” health insurance non-profits designed to compete with private sector insurers.
Although Taylor’s wife, Bond, had promised that the co-op’s board would be made up of consumers, “[f]our of the five voting board members at the Nevada Health CO-OP are officers or voting board members of UNITE HERE or its affiliates.”
While Sodexo is, perhaps, only the latest to shift workers to part-time status, most certainly, it will not be the last.
However, as workers continue to suffer due the law that union bosses and their Democrat minions shoved down America’s throat, union bosses appear to be faring quite well under the scheme.
“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)
Cross-posted on LaborUnionReport.com