Union calls for removal of member from Obama's jobs council
President Obama met with leaders from his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in Pittsburgh today, where they presented him with proposals including upgrading the nation's transportation infrastructure and attracting foreign investment.
But some labor advocates are growing increasingly upset with the makeup of the council, which includes CEOs of companies such as Boeing and GE that have received bad marks from unions on labor issues, according to a story in Monday's Los Angeles Times.
Discontent grew Tuesday, when members of the Newspaper Guild of New York called on the President to remove Monica Lozano, CEO of ImpreMedia, from the panel. ImpreMedia wants to lay off a third of unionized workers at El Diario, the guild says, and is outsourcing jobs. The guild created a website, outsourcemonica.com, to host its grievances.
"The hypocrisy of Monica Lozano serving on President Obama’s Jobs Council is shocking," said Bill O’Meara, president of the New York guild. "ImpreMedia is outsourcing American jobs to other countries and undermining hard-won protections for middle-class workers."
University of California students have protested against Lozano in the past. She is a UC regent and has served during a time of tuition hikes, and also serves on the board of Disney, which students say unfairly receives tax breaks.
Many of the CEOs on the jobs council have also overseen significant layoffs this year. Companies such as Xerox and American Express have cut jobs. Other companies whose CEOs serve on the panel have received hundreds of millions of dollars of stimulus funding, without creating many jobs.
"They call it the jobs and competitiveness committee, but what they mean by competitiveness is massive concessions being imposed on working people," said Chris Townsend, political action director of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, in Monday's story.
The White House says that members of the Jobs Council serve as independent advisors, and that the President makes economic decisions on his own.
-- Alana Semuels
Photo: President Obama in Pittsburgh after meeting with his jobs creation panel. Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters