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Topics: Obamacare

SEIU unionists strike over Obamacare-related cuts

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Members of the Chicago-based Service Employees International Union Local 1 have gone on strike over recent job cuts by a janitorial company called Professional Maintenance.

The reason for the cuts? The employer says it is because of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This is ironic since SEIU is a major supporter of the law.

Tyler French, Local 1's organizing director, told Mediatrackers Ohio the company claimed it had to cut its employees' hours due to Obamacare mandates.

French did not believe the explanation, though, calling it the “latest excuse in a long line of many that we’ve seen from corporate America.”

But others throughout the organized labor movement have warned that such actions will be a direct consequence of the President Obama's health care law.

At the AFL-CIO's convention in Los Angeles earlier this month, Loretta Johnson, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers, said it was already happening in her union.

"We are seeing employer after employer cut hours so as to avoid the 30-hour definition of a full-time job," Johnson said. The AFL-CIO passed a resolution demanding either Congress or Obama fix the law to stop it from hurting union members.

Under Obamacare, once a person works more than 30 hours a week, that person counts toward the requirement that companies provide insurance if they have more than 50 employees.

SEIU enthusiastically backed Obamacare when it passed and remains a booster of the law today. Earlier this month, it announced that it was sending nurses, doctors and other health care professionals out to promote the law in 30 cities over the coming months.

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Sean Higgins

Senior Writer
The Washington Examiner