Unions must do more than stop republicans from winning elections.The ongoing dilemma, though, is that the labor movement has no choice but to work with democrats against the right’s fierce anti-unionism.
James points to the answer: strong regional labor / community coalitions. Los
Angeles unions - closely linked to immigrant rights groups – steer elected democrats toward progressive, pro-worker positions.
Can we build this coalitional strategy on the national level?
The U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus may be tilting a bit more pro-union. But we’re a long way from having the votes to pass meaningful labor law reform.
If we are to “get tough” with democrats as you suggest, we’d better be politically organized. Unions will not withdraw support from democrats, knowing that doing this simply hands over governance to our republican enemies.
Posted by Lou Siegel on Feb 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM
Unions have done such a bad job over the last 25 years, that a whole generation of Progressive activists don’t know anything about the Union movement. Most of us can’t name a single Union leader in our local communities.
Some of this division came out of the 60s and 70s, when most activists opposed the vietnam war, and many major Unions supported the war. Union leaders didn’t help themselves in the 80s when they started spending more time playing Golf with corporate CEOs than they spent opposing the new workplace problems that their members were encountering.
Unions need to make a place for themselves again. They should redefine their vision for America and make sure the rest of us (who are not Union members) know what that new vision is. They should support progressive issues and progressive primary challenges. They should reach out to Progressive community and make sure we know that our Union locals support our concerns. They should oppose corporate Democrats as strongly as they oppose Republicans.
Most of all: They should not give up so easily.
Posted by scribble73 on Feb 9, 2013 at 12:19 PM
The only way to return the unions to the rank and file is to break the unions connection with the Democratic Party. Union bureaucrats are tied to this corporate party and in the present situation sell out their members interests. A leadership must be built from the ranks that will have labor run its own candidates and establish a labor party with a platform representing the 99%.
Posted by Tom Bishop on Feb 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM
State of Illinois workers worst nightmare is the Illinois Democratic party. Seems that almost weekly there is some new piece of legislation by the state Democrats to undermine state workers and retirees. The murderers, gangsters, rapists, molesters, and even cannibals I dealt with as a state prison guard were a picnic in the park compared to the attorney/state politicians that seem hellbent on destroying the state workers and retirees. After 40 years I am no longer a supporter of the Democratic party. My Republican state senator and representative have been very supportive of state union workers. These are very strange days politically!
Posted by claudette thomas radke on Feb 11, 2013 at 2:03 AM
Why don’t we just raise all wages to $50hr, hell everyone wants to pay $10 or a head of lettuce and $25 for a cup of coffee.
You stupid liberals will never understand the free market and you should just move to some country where your ideas have worked so well, Oh Wait, Utopia does not exist.
Posted by lessthantolerant on Feb 11, 2013 at 6:11 AM
This article is yet another reason I vote Green Party.
Unlike the two corporate-funded parties, the Green Party doesn’t accept corporate money, and they represent CITIZENS interests.
Check out their Green New Deal: http://www.jillstein.org/summa… .
Posted by Alan8 on Feb 11, 2013 at 1:47 PM
So by your “logic”, paying everyone starvation wages would be just great because then we’d have lower prices.
The system that We The People created and maintain must work for ALL of us—not just the 1%. And there are more of us than you.
Posted by Alan8 on Feb 11, 2013 at 1:51 PM
Now you are starting to understand the laws of supply and demand. We will teach you libbies some economics yet.
Posted by lessthantolerant on Feb 11, 2013 at 3:42 PM
No, it’s you that does not understand. Starvation wages don’t work for the 99%.
The only reason you Republicans have been able to get away with it is the ignorance and apathy of the 99%. The times are changing, and as I said, there are more of us than you.
Posted by Alan8 on Feb 11, 2013 at 3:53 PM
”...and establish a labor party with a platform representing the 99%.”
That party is already here; it’s called the Green Party. (See above link to the Green New Deal).
Posted by Alan8 on Feb 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM
“Unions will not withdraw support from democrats, knowing that doing this simply hands over governance to our republican enemies.”
But we SHOULD transfer support from the corrupt, corporate-funded “Democrats” to a party that represents CITIZENS interests, like the Green Party.
These “Democrats” are going to sell us out anyway, so it’s no great loss, and it sends a message to the whole Democratic Party that selling us out to the 1% will cost them votes.
Posted by Alan8 on Feb 11, 2013 at 5:30 PM
Well you are such an economist, why not just raise minimum wage to $50hr and make everyone happy.
Starvation wages, love that term, it’s so BS.
Posted by lessthantolerant on Feb 12, 2013 at 6:00 AM