Great article. The writer discusses the positive changes Obama has made for labor but that he has not necessarily been a strong labor supporter despite what he said at election time and how his trade deals are pretty well labor unfriendly, and what now needs to be done to strengthen unions.

With Barack Obama’s rise as a presidential candidate in 2008, many believed that labor had found a champion in the young senator from Illinois. “If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House,” Obama said on the campaign trail, “I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line as President of the United States of the America, because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

Eight years later, the record has turned out to be much more mixed. Working people have undoubtedly gained from many executive branch decisions. However, apart from these limited actions, a pattern of passive support from the White House has shown that unions are seen as just another interest group in the Democratic coalition, rather than as a vital force in moving forward a progressive economic agenda.
Most notably, the AFL-CIO’s main legislative goal—the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)—was sidelined during the Obama years. There is some debate about how helpful it would have been for President Obama to take a stronger leadership role in pushing EFCA, given the dynamics in Congress. But even after Democrats in the Senate crafted a weakened version of the policy in order to secure additional votes, the White House held back from intervening on labor’s behalf. “The compromise had a shot at winning all 60 Democratic votes,” wrote journalist Harold Meyerson at the time, “but Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked them to wait” until other Administration priorities had passed. After the 2010 midterms, any hope of labor law reform died.
Workers: Stand with Labor : Democracy Journal