The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Monday, May 02, 2005
AFL-CIO tussle looking ugly
The November elections appeared to the casual observer to show both that the GOP ground operations were better organised than Conventional Wisdom led said observer to believe; and the Democratic were worse.
There was, it seemed a tendency for Dem workers to be eager out-of-towners, liable to fall over each other, not directed to best effect and found uncongenial by the voters they were trying to woo; whilst the GOP operation tended to use neighbours - or locals, at least - more knowledgeable of, and empathetic towards, their targets .
One of the key elements of the Roosevelt Revolution in Democratic politics was the raising of the CIO. Three elements were involved (in the Cliff Notes version, at least ):
Coming up to date, the House of Labor, still 12 million strong and, I'm thinking, still potentially the Dems biggest organising machine, is in trouble.
Relations between John Sweeney, head of the AFL-CIO, and the neos, such as the SEIU's Andy Stern, I knew were bad. But now, it seems, they've sunk to writing nasty letters.
In particular, demanding that the AFL-CIO delete their members' names from its membership list:
"Within 5 days of the date of this letter please provide to me a notarized letter stating that the file has been deleted in its entirety and all membership files of this union be deleted as well," Teamsters President James P. Hoffa wrote in a letter to Karen Ackerman...
It seems that Stern, Hoffa and their colleagues no longer wish to delegate their unions' electoral clout: they intend to cut out the middleman.
A bit like Wal-Mart, surely?
The struggle for control of American unionism of which the membership list dispute is part, is not, I suspect, a story that is getting anything like as much play as it deserves, either in the MSM or among Dem bloggers.
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