Big Labor's ties to the Democratic Party have been documented from time immemorial.
And everyone knows that President Joe Biden has close ties to labor unions. Having served in the federal government as an elected official for nearly the last half-century as a loyal Democrat, Biden has had union allies by his side for literally decades.
So it likely comes as no surprise that Biden would be extremely hesitant to cross his labor pals. But he's doing more than just being careful not to cross them — he's consulting with them in the creation of national policy.
The Associated Press revealed the most recent labor-union collusion with the White House in a report on how unions appear split over Biden's new vaccine mandate.
Most readers will remember the reports last May exposing that the White House was caught allowing the American Federation of Teachers to play a role in school reopening policies. The AFT successfully lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not to recommend earlier last school year that schools could fully reopen.
Last week, according to the AP, the Biden White House actively reached out to Big Labor for consultation on vaccine mandates before the president issued his declaration Thursday.
And not only did the administration proactively contact labor unions, the AP said, it vowed to keep checking in with them on the mandate.
From the AP (emphasis added):
The labor movement is torn over vaccine requirements — much like the country as a whole — wanting to both support its political ally in Biden and protect its members against infection but also not wanting to trample their workers' rights.
“Labor unions are a microcosm of the society we live in," said Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director of Cornell University's The Worker Institute. “The same political divide we have right now exists within the rank and file of unions."
That divide complicates matters for Biden as he tries to get the delta variant under control. Unions are a key part of the Democratic Party, and Biden has embraced them to burnish his blue-collar, middle-class image. Dissent in Biden's own coalition may make it especially hard for him to implement new vaccination requirements. Some unions representing federal workers already objected to his push for inoculation among the U.S. government workforce, saying such matters involving new workplace requirements and discipline need to be negotiated at the bargaining table.
In a sign of the importance of the issue to the Biden administration, the White House reached out to union presidents before Biden announced his new policy Thursday and will continue to check in with labor leaders, said an administration official, who insisted on anonymity to discuss forthcoming plans.
Despite national unions' apparent acquiescence to Biden's push for vaccine mandates, local unions — particularly police unions — have opposed moves to require jabs.
For example, just last month, the Chicago police union sent a message to Mayor Lori Lightfoot's command that all cops get the shots: "Hell, no," they said. "We'll see you in court."