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View Diary: Future of Work, Unions? Let’s Talk. (167 comments)

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  •  I'll post this commenters statement, it covers (23+ / 0-)

    virtually everything I wanted to say.

    DanielPatrickRoche •  2 hours ago −

    The AFL-CIO needs to stop giving money to the Democratic Party, period. In the past, it may have made sense to grease the wheel of the 'lesser evil,' but let's review what the labor movement got from the Obama Administration and the Democratic National Committee under his regime, after giving them unreserved political and financial support:

    1) The slow death of the--and a slow death without much of a fight from the administration--of the Employee Free Choice Act.

    2) The current death spiral of the United States Postal Service and the largest public employee's union in the nation with it.

    3) Absolutely no support of the workers' uprising in the Midwest after the crackdown on unions and privatization of some cities.

    4) Active suppression of the youth movement for working people--Occupy and other expressions of solidarity over the last five years.

    5) A notorious union buster as the Secretary of Education.

    6) The Queen of Union Busters, Penny Pritzker, as his choice of Commerce Secretary in the second term.

    7) Right-wing leftovers from the Heritage Foundations 1990s proposals after four years of having single-payer on the official Democratic platform for the two cycles the labor and youth movements helped them elect historically large numbers of Democrats to Congress.

    8) The ever-present threat of gutting social insurance since 2009 is now a naked and horrible ambition of this administration.

    With that list, which is not exhaustive, I honestly think supporting the Democratic Party--on the national level, at least--is just stupid.

    The AFL-CIO should also stop prioritizing affecting change at the ballot box. Buying into the idea that the ballot is the only place to realize change is playing into the hands of the business interests that have bought both major parties. Use the funds you would have donated to the Democratic Party to dramatically expand Working America and get the millions of unemployed youth and underemployed union members in this country out into the streets and vibrating walls.

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:27:54 AM PDT

    •  For example (20+ / 0-)

      my Congresswoman, Cheri Bustos, would not have won election in IL-17 without the considerable support of working men and women.  Once elected she immediately becomes a "No Labels Congressional Problem Solver" and is the 182 most progressive member of the 201 member House Progressive Caucus.  She is to the right of Conservative Blue Dog head of the DCCC Steve Israel, as are the other newly elected House members of the Illinois delegation.

      We've had NeoLibs like Carter busting the trucking unions, Clinton with NAFTA, and Obama who are all to the right of the majority of Americans in pocketbook issues.

      "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

      by Illinibeatle on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:47:21 AM PDT

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      •  And in IL-17, Bustos' record is indefensible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That district is one of the bluest in the Midwest, home to Caterpillar, Case, IH, and the headquarters of John Deere.  That district was represented for 20 years by Lane Evans, one of the most progressive members of the House, ever.  

        Bustos is a poster child for the fecklessness and corruption which is rotting away the foundations of the Democratic Party.  

        Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

        by Big River Bandido on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:38:57 AM PDT

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    •  Party cares about labor in even-numbered falls (16+ / 0-)

      It then goes back to catering to FIRE, its true base, the rest of the time.  There are, obviously, Dems who deserve Dem support.  In the Senate, the likes of Brown, Warren, Franken, Boxer, Whitehouse, and Sanders (who's actually an indie) all immediately come to mind*.  There are plenty more in the House.

      The very idea of backing the party as a whole, however, was proven to be a mistake long ago.  EFCA never even getting to the floor of the Senate and the WH never making it a priority proves that point.  In hindsight, the Goolsbee Memo back in '08 was a tell, but we have far more concrete evidence since then.

      *Harkin and Levin are retiring.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:34:43 PM PDT

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      •  from your link & a great example of what was to (5+ / 0-)

        come from Obama, on most any policy that benefits the 99% instead of the 1%. In other words the 'talk' was not going to resemble the 'walk' and it is continuing to be true.

        According to the writer of the memorandum, Joseph De Mora, a political and economic affairs consular officer, Professor Goolsbee assured them that Mr. Obama’s protectionist stand on the trail was “more reflective of political maneuvering than policy.”

        It also said the professor had assured the Canadians that Mr. Obama’s language “should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.”

        (emphasis mine)

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:57:34 PM PDT

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    •  Here, here. (5+ / 0-)

      I believe that supporting "the lesser evil" may well be required of voters and donors to campaigns who are not linked with an institution.  D-grade economic policies must be tolerated if the alternatives are BOMB BOMB BOMB to the Right and 9/11 CT to the Left.

      Unions, on the other hand, should concentrate on organizing unorganized industries and shops.  To have power, one must build it.  Be sure that your organizing and strike funds are as full as possible.  

      Unorganized industries and shops should be Named and Shamed, and what few union workers and allies remain should be strongly encouraged to look for union labels.  (It seemed to work at the steel mills, where a ban on driving imported cars carried strong informal force.)

      Perhaps a Wal-Mart "Worse Than Scrooge" Christmas Carol would be appropriate, but let Bob Cratchett have to abandon the scantly-laid Thanksgiving table to work at Wal-Mart, where he gets trampled;  then fire Mrs. Cratchett in her widow's weeds for taking Little Tim to the hospital on Christmas Eve.  Then attach real names to those faces.  (If it were 2007, then Little Tim dead on Christmas Day would be plausible, but for ChIP.)

      Or consider an ad that the Super Bowl's broadcasters detest (getting it infinite play on competing stations).  

      On a more cheerful note, how about a mailer with lots of cents-off coupons for products made by union shops?  The health-services industry is poorly unionized and poorly compensated -- why not let consumers know the advantages of choosing a unionized homecare provider?  ("WE make sure that all professional who cares for your beloved knows what they are doing.  Would you rather have an exhausted person earning minimum wage at Grandma's bedside, or an awake, alert professional?")

      I'd also like to make a plea for adjunct professors, but very few of them plan to be adjuncts long enough to endure an organization campaign, and not a few of them detest unions on principle.

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:49:49 PM PDT

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