Saturday, June 18, 2005

Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Members

John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO has seen "downsizing." But in his case, it means that unions are leaving the AFL-CIO. Most recent was the departure of the SEIU. More significant was the departure of the Carpenters' Union.

In reading the press reports over the departures, it seemed that both groups were unhappy with Sweeney's fixation with raising and spending money to support candidates for political office. The ex-affiliate Unions would prefer to concentrate on increasing membership.

Then again, maybe there's more to the story. Maybe Sweeney's ideology is simply too radioactive for the rank-and-file Carpenters and waitresses:

"The AFL-CIO Executive Committee's March 3 resolution, which labor officials unanimously adopted, opposes federal and state constitutional amendments to define marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman.

"The resolution reiterates the AFL-CIO's "longstanding support for the full inclusion and equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the workplace and society."
The Executive Committee says a federal Marriage Protection Amendment and its state counterparts "threaten the rights of working people by creating an environment across the nation that is hostile to the rights of domestic partners, regardless of their sexual orientation."

Do I hear the Teamsters snickering?

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