Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Don't you think the split from the AFL-CIO deserves bigger headlines? After watching the AFL-CIO put so much of its efforts into elections (with what result?), SEIU and the Teamsters said suck it.

12 Added Something:

Blogger Dirty Dan Sin quipped...

seems big to me...but what do I know?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 8:54:00 AM  
Anonymous eli quipped...

i don't know anything either. i do know that labor has been under attack and has been declining steadily and needs to do something different, but i can't say that i have any clue at all as to what the outcome of this schism will be.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous anna quipped...

it all actually deserves smaller headlines i think. it's embarrassing that we're so divided about what to do about working people in this country. i mean, how is splitting up the small and shrinking power that labor DOES have serve any of us?

if there's infighting, let's keep it under wraps until we can at least put a good face on it. it overall just depresses the hell out of me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 1:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Chuy quipped...

No, this is exciting...things are happening, something needs to change with Labor in this country. Let the in-fighting blossom, so long as the goal is renewed sense of purpose and more effective strategies to get working people what they deserve. I think this schism is, ultimately, good for the labor movement.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 1:53:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy quipped...

Anna, why didn't AFL-CIO respond to criticism, complaints, and analysis that all the money and efforts spent running political candidates has done little to improve labor conditions or increase the number of represented workers? Wages continue to fail to keep up with the cost of living, and all of us have seen our health coverage levels decrease. What else are we supposed to do?

My union, for now, remains affiliated.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 2:39:00 PM  
Anonymous robin quipped...

i think it's disappointing that the afl-cio wouldn't go along with the dissidents' demands - think they were asking for a rebate on their afl dues for additional organizing [hate to write that b/c i'm not entirely sure] but, it's either that or something like it.

I guess excited would be too strong of a word to describe how i feel about the split because bigger is better when it comes to going up against global corporations. still, i think the dissidents or "change to win" coalition is serious about spending more money on organizing, and spending a huge amount on targeting a big successful new economy sort of behemoth like wal-mart or fedex.

I do have some sympathy for the people on the very left side of this debate who say it's not really structure or the lack of organizing cash that's hampering the labor movement, but it's the lack of a movement - failure to take on big issues like the war and its effect on working people, for example, in a bigger way.. Then, there's also the failure to really educate and develop leadership among the rank and file in unions like seiu. They mobilize big numbers of people, but don't necessarily do the sort of education that would allow them to make strategic decisions and plans for themselves.

as for talking about it all in the open, i'm all for that. it is kind of an inside baseball debate, and the more people - especially working people whose interest is sparked the better, imo.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 4:53:00 PM  
Anonymous anna quipped...

"...Then, there's also the failure to really educate and develop leadership among the rank and file in unions like seiu..." kathy: this comment of robin's is to me at the heart of the whole thing (or at least, this is what bugs me the most). there is no capacity for conversation and debate which is necessary in order to develop mature leadership that can give and take critique (about money or backing politicians who fail or the direction of labor in a changing economy or anything else really). but this is all speculation and outside judgment on my part. i get it from my baptist roots which leads us to my next comment:

i liken this whole thing to the great religious schisms of the past, and since the Reformation brought us folks like Jerry Falwell and Jim Baker in the glorious protestant tradition, i just have to cringe at what a schism in labor might bring.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 5:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Chuy quipped...

Anna, your analogy about the schism in labor being like religious schisms doesn't really hold-- those schisms also brought about the Quakers, the MCC, and many other positive manifestations. It wasn't all Jerry Falwell.

I don't know much about the contemporary labor movement, and that's exactly the problem...there needs to be a shake-up, reorganization, some sort of change that will re-assert itself in a big way so that the word 'union' won't be a bad word.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 5:50:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy quipped...

Anna, your points are interesting, but I still disagree. That said, I would have never thought Jr. (Hoffa) would be part of a progressive movement. Guess we'll see.

Nevertheless, I'm hopeful that the break will be meaningful. I agree that organizing is about educating people, and I'd be happy if the new organizing efforts resulted in better educated, even if not unionized, workers. As it is, workers are pittifully undereducated about their rights (not many).

In California, women have paid disability leave for pregnancy, and lots of people enjoy protection against job discrimination based on sexual orientation. Other states don't have provisions like ours, and people don't even imagine the possibility of engaging in setting standards for themselves. They believe the lies of union busters and think they're better off letting the bosses set the conditions of work. I could go on and on about what people don't know about Labor and Employment (they're different, you know).

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 6:07:00 PM  
Anonymous anna quipped...

chuy, kathy, all: oh i'm not necessarily opposed to this whole schism thing. Organized labor desperately needs a kick in the ass, i'm just not convinced that this "change to win" is where it's at. I'm down for a revolution, I just don't think that's what Hoffa and Stern are about...maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

And for the record, I am actually way into reform christianity (thanks for calling me on my extreme statements chuy, you are correct, we protestants got much more than jerry falwell). I've been watching pbs documentaries on luther and that guy was actually pretty politically radical.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 6:45:00 PM  
Anonymous ed sheff quipped...

this schisms in labor is BIG--bigger than life. the outcome of this dispute will surely redefine labor standards on a global level. AFL-CIO hasn’t done jack since the 1970s. the rest of the world’s been turning while unified labor has been doing little more than collecting dues. with CAFTA, NAFTA, Walmart, and the outsourcing of everyfreakinthing, there really is no end to employee exploitation in order to minimize that bottom line.

in this country we’ll turn our back on undocumented immigrants just as long as they’ll watch our kids, wipe our asses, and not organize. corporate villains will continue chipping away at worker benefits and threaten to move factories to Malaysia if they don’t get government doles. they do this ‘caus there is no opposition. labor lost its backbone years ago and now its up to SEIU, Teamsters, and UFW to re-revolutionize labor. So it is spoken, so shall it be

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 1:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Chuy quipped...

Ed- Amen.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 3:29:00 AM  

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