Flanked by labor leaders, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, President and Executive Director of Asian American Justice Center Mee Moua, President and CEO of Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Wade Henderson, and Managing Director of United We Dream Cristina Jimenez, President and CEO of National Council of la Raza Janet Murguia speaks to the press after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House February 5, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama was meeting with labor leaders to discuss issues including immigration reform, economy, and deficit reduction. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Oct. 22 news article “Unions hearing a friendlier tone from the administration,” about the Obama administration’s belated recognition of the role labor unions play in the economy, noted the administration’s previous disregard for union views. But the article overlooked the administration’s abandonment of the Employee Free Choice Act, which President Obama, as a senator, co-sponsored.

The act would have made it easier for employees to form and join unions. At the very least, it would have tested the AFL-CIO’s polling, which claims that more than half of working Americans would join a union if they could do so freely. Instead, in 2009, the administration abandoned the act to single-mindedly pursue divisive health-care legislation.

The immediate consequences of the law would have been felt only at workplaces experiencing a union organizing effort. It would have stirred up far less opposition than health-care reform, and it would have widened the administration’s political base — an opportunity unlikely to be regained by Labor Secretary Thomas Perez’s remedial efforts nearly six years later.

George Dragnich, Arlington

The writer is a former assistant director general of the International Labor Organization.