July 7, 2005

THEY'RE MOVING THE NEXT CONVENTION FROM MSG TO A MOOSE LODGE IN HOBOKEN (via David Hill, The Bronx):

Union Leader: Labor Can't Just Back Dems (WILL LESTER, 7/07/05, Associated Press)

Organized labor should help politicians who will advance labor's cause rather than simply supporting Democrats, says a union leader pushing for changes in the AFL-CIO.

"We can't just elect Democratic politicians and try to take back the House and take back the Senate and think that's going to change workers' lives," said Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union.

During a briefing Thursday, Stern said politics is only part of labor's strategy. He said "electing Democrats and taking back the House or getting rid of (House Majority Leader) Tom Delay" are not enough to answer workers' problems.


Sure, the Democrats are naturally the party of intellectual elites, but you're not supposed to actually shrink it down to just them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 7, 2005 10:07 PM
Comments

The head of the AFL-CIO is from the same union, and he has made that organization a feeble lapdog supporting all the nonsense the Democratic party elite wishes to foment. He's spent far more time supporting abortion rights or same sex marriage than he has spent defending American workers from outsourcing or (gasp!) expanding the labor movement into the 'New Economy.'

Posted by: bart at July 8, 2005 8:40 AM

Finally, somebody realizes that it is not 1937 anymore and that both Franklin Roosevelt and Frank Murphy are dead.
Play both sides of the aisle or risk being shut out.

Posted by: Mikey at July 8, 2005 9:28 AM

Defending American workers from outsourcing ?

Companies outsource to get lower wage and/or benefit costs, or to take advantage of tax distortions.

Unions could lobby to change the latter, I reckon, but are they going to take wage/benefit cuts that would make them competitive ?

The autoworkers' union could tell GM that the union members would like to pick up half the tab for their medical insurance, and thereby help to save their jobs.

Instead, the UAW specifically warned GM that the union isn't willing to negotiate any concessions before the current agreement ends.

What do they expect is going to happen ?

If unions want to do something effective about outsourcing, and the members don't want to take pay cuts, (understandably), then the trick is to figure out some way to make the members even more productive.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 8, 2005 10:01 AM

Michael, calm down please.

The point I was trying to make was that a labor union's job is to get better wages, benefits and working conditions for its membership, and if possible to increase that membership. The current head of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney, seems far more concerned with the social and foreign policy agenda of the Democratic Party elite than he is in workers' rights. He parades for abortion rights or gay marriage or getting out of Iraq, but the percentage of unionized workers continues to decline, and the workers in unions continue to lose relative to the rest of the economy. It's the Leonard Woodcock syndrome.

Posted by: bart at July 8, 2005 3:06 PM
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