Divided they fall
September 8, 2011
Maybe it was just a calendar-driven media pulling out the Labor Day feature file, but we’ve noticed a flurry of union-oriented stories lately, and what’s interesting is they’re mostly about Big Labor trying to come up with a viable strategy.
WisPolitics found a former WEAC honcho, now a national teacher union boss, who seems uncertain about the wisdom of trying to recall Governor Walker next year. That’s a bit awkward, considering his vision of a new grassroots organizing effort that will depend on the militants who desire a Walker recall more than their next meal.
Newsmax reports that Really Big Labor, disappointed with Democrats, may go it alone. This is problematic for the AFL-CIO. If they try to become a political movement unto themselves, unaffiliated with any party, they will likely succeed only in fragmenting Democrat constituencies and accidentally electing more Republicans.
Meanwhile, Steven Malanga of the Manhattan Institute deftly characterizes Big Labor’s dilemma in this recent Wall Street journal analysis:
As Malanga recognizes, union clout is increasingly concentrated in the public sector which drains the productive energies of the economy, thus diminishing the wealth on which union members’ jobs depend. Even though they would argue over it, industrial unions once understood that if the wealth producers don’t succeed, there won’t be much to bargain for. With each percentage point shift of union membership toward the government sector, that understanding fades.
At a Labor Day rally in Detroit, Teamsters President, Jimmy Hoffa, promised President Obama that he’d have his back next year:
“President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong,” Hoffa added.
Thursday the President is set to reveal what he has promised the unions in return.