AFSCME Official: Still Fighting for Obama Jobs Package, but Trade Deals Could Mean ‘Job Loss’

Oct 13, 2011 2:27pm

President Obama’s jobs package may have died in the Senate this week – but don’t tell his allies in the labor movement.

On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Chuck Loveless, legislative director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told us that he’s still pushing for the full jobs bill to pass – a message his union is hammering home in a new advertising campaign.

“We are not conceding that the fight on this is over. In fact, from our perspective, it is just beginning,” Loveless told us. “The president’s jobs plan and jobs bill is extremely popular with the American public, so we are planning to continue this fight and in fact are going to ramp it up.”

Loveless said that, this week’s vote notwithstanding, he thinks the measure could still pass the Senate.

“We are going to continue pushing on this,” he said. “Sen. [Harry] Reid has not just made a decision on how he is going to move forward. I suspect that there are going to be a number of votes that are going to be taken in the United States Senate on this.”

But AFSCME is not a fan of the trade bills that passed Congress this week — packaged by the president and others as opportunities to grow the US economy.

“We’re concerned that it may actually lead to a job loss, so the jury is clearly out on that,” he said.

Loveless added that the “Occupy Wall Street” protests represent an organizing opportunity for unions and their allies.

“It’s very very positive,” he said. “The fact is, their message is our message. We need jobs, we don’t need more cuts. And, I think that to the extent that we reach out to them — we are trying to do that right now. We are going to see a new level of energy, which is think is very positive from the progressive side.”

We also checked in with James Pindell of ABC’s New Hampshire affiliate, WMUR-TV, on the latest rumbling from New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner about the possibility of a primary being held in December. Pindell said it’s on Nevada to change course with its date and avoid an early-voting schedule nobody wants.

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