Labor - USA

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/wbumpus6/public_html/seachange/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.module on line 1364.

The New AFL-CIO: Wither Safety & Health?

Jordan, March 2, 2005

While the legions of John Sweeney and Andy Stern assemble to do battle in the far-away magical kingdom of Las Vegas, it might be a good time for those of us left at home to discuss what really matters: what do the coming changes in the AFL-CIO mean for workplace health and safety? ... The New AFL-CIO

An Organizing Proposal to Revitalize the Labor Movement

Anne Janks, Portside, February 26, 2005

Amidst the current discussion about the need to revitalize Labor, WalMart is usually held up as the main corporate target which must be challenged in order to rebuild the labor movement. However, a better chance of success with greater impact lies with addressing another target.

One of the largest concentrated groups of unorganized workers in the US is largely ignored by organized labor. This proposal is for a coordinated effort to organize in this key industry. ... An Organizing Proposal

Proposal from Union Women: "Strengthening Our Union Movement for the Future"

Coalition of Labor Union Women, Portside, February 26, 2005

Dear Brother Sweeney:

On behalf of the labor movement's 600,000 women members, CLUW thanks you for the opportunity to share our ideas and offer recommendations in this very critical debate on our movement's future. Our comments are not aimed at the AFL-CIO's structure, expenditure of funds, or union consolidation, which are being discussed vigorously at other levels of leadership, but rather address program priorities.

Working women suffer most from the economic assault being inflicted on American workers. ... Proposal from Union Women

Rebuilding the Union Movement to Empower Communities of Color

Gerald Hudson, SEIU, Black Commentator, February 24, 2005

I was glad to see The Black Commentator covering the historic debate going on in the nation’s unions about how to rebuild workers’ strength in America (February 3, 2005 “Black Unionists Warn ‘Don’t Restructure Us Out’”). Your editorial was correct in advocating that meaningful changes in the union movement must involve people of color in the process and result in greater empowerment at the local level.

But the commentary was not correct in its characterization of that debate, nor its description of the role of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) ... Rebuilding

On the Future of American Labor

Stanley Aronowitz, Portside, February 21, 2005

The crisis of the United States labor movement is an old story but it has entered a stage where predictions of its virtual disappearance as a significant economic force are now fairly common, even among some of Organized Labor's top leaders. ... On the Future

Unions Support Plan to Cut AFL-CIO Contributions

Steven Greenhouse, New York Times, February 19, 2005

Many of the nation's largest labor unions, including the Teamsters and Service Employees International Union, are pushing a plan to cut in half most unions' contributions to the AFL-CIO and instead devote the money to organizing workers, several labor leaders said yesterday.

With union membership and power steadily declining, such a move would in theory increase membership, although it would weaken the AFL-CIO and force it to lay off many employees.

The push for these changes comes as a few union presidents are quietly maneuvering to persuade John J. Sweeney, the federation's president, not to run for a new four-year term.

At a meeting in Washington on Thursday, the presidents of several major labor unions backed a Teamsters-led plan to cut contributions to the federation, hoping the AFL-CIO's executive council will approve the plan at its meeting in Las Vegas in early March.

Reinventing trade unionism for the 21st century

Kate Bronfenbrenner et al, Portside, February 18, 2005

An important debate has commenced within the ranks of organized labor regarding the future of the movement. From our experience we know that the 'top-to-bottom' approach to revitalizing workers' organizations will not foster meaningful membership participation and support. The debate must be joined by rank-and-file union members and leaders, other labor activists, scholars and the broad array of supporters of trade unionism. It must be open, frank and constructive, recognizing that we all have a stake in the outcome of these discussions. ... Reinventing

Open Letter and Appeal To President Sweeney & GEC, AFL-CIO

US Labor Against the War, February 5, 2005

Across the country, local, district and national unions, labor councils, state labor federations and numerous other labor organizations representing millions of working people have adopted resolutions condemning the war in Iraq and calling for an end to the occupation and return of all troops to their homes and families. Among these are national unions like SEIU, AFSCME, CWA, APWU, NPMHU/LIUNA and UE; allied organizations like the Coalition of Labor Union Women, Pride at Work and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement; State Labor Federations in California, Maryland/DC, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin ... Open Letter

Black Unionists Warn “Don’t ‘Restructure’ Us Out”

The Black Commentator, February 3, 2005

The push to “streamline” and consolidate the structures of the AFL-CIO threatens to diminish the influence of Blacks in the labor movement. “They want bigger unions,” said Bill Lucy, head of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), referring to leaders of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Teamsters, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and others. “They want power players, big unions in charge. The end result is diminution of community power.” ... Black Unionists

New Labor?

The recent, extraordinary challenges to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney could have the house of labor rearranging its furniture soon.
Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect, February 1, 2005

For a life-and-death debate about the future of the labor movement, the current conflict over the structure and role of America’s unions got off to a singularly inauspicious start. A week and a day after John Kerry’s - and the unions’ - defeat at the hands of George W. Bush, the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO convened in Washington for a postmortem. ... New Labor

Shocking the Donkey ... Again

Chris Townsend, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), February 2005

All Howard Dean's energy and enthusiasm won't bring the Democrats back to life. What we need is a Labor Party.

Howard Dean's election as new chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) brings a number of refreshing changes. For starters, we won't be subjected to the ravings of departing chair Terry McAuliffe anymore. Bill Clinton hand-picked McAuliffe for the job because he was good at raising money from big business and rich people. Building a grassroots party was not on his "to-do" list, and Democrats didn't do too well at the polls during his tenure, either. ... Shocking

The New Boss

Matt Bai, The New York Times, January 30, 2005

Purple is the color of Andrew Stern's life. He wears, almost exclusively, purple shirts, purple jackets and purple caps. He carries a purple duffel bag and drinks bottled water with a purple label, emblazoned with the purple logo of the Service Employees International Union, of which Stern is president. There are union halls in America where a man could get himself hurt wearing a lilac shirt, but the SEIU is a different kind of union, rooted in the new service economy. Its members aren't truck drivers or assembly-line workers but janitors and nurses and home health care aides, roughly a third of whom are black, Asian or Latino. While the old-line industrial unions have been shrinking every year, Stern's union has been organizing low-wage workers, many of whom have never belonged to a union, at a torrid pace, to the point where the SEIU is now the largest and fastest-growing trade union in North America. Once a movement of rust brown and steel gray, Big Labor is increasingly represented, at rallies and political conventions, by a rising sea of purple.

Labor: To Be Born Again

Carl Bloice, Portside, January 23, 2005

Seen as a pyramid, there are three elements to be considered in the context of the current discussion of the future of unionism in the United States: (1) the working class, (2) the labor movement, and (3) the unions. The unions exist because at a point in history the labor movement, proclaiming itself acting for the benefit of the working class, was born and set about to organize the working class; the form being trade unions. ... Labor

Hoffa breaking away from labor biz as usual

Robert Novak, Chicago Sun-Times, January 20, 2005

The barons of the American labor movement gathered Jan. 10 at the AFL-CIO fortress across Lafayette Park from the White House, with doors closed to the public as usual. The AFL-CIO Executive Committee's agenda prepared by President John Sweeney allotted 30 minutes for reform of the labor federation. But James P. Hoffa of the Teamsters insisted much more time was needed to debate badly needed changes.

As Hoffa desired, more than two hours were spent on proposals by him and Andrew Stern of the Service Employees International Union. They would diminish the influence of the AFL-CIO, returning power to individual unions. Hoffa would cut in half money the unions give to Sweeney, suggesting that his presidency has failed in the basic task of signing up new workers.

Time's Up for the NUP

As unions buzz with talk of reform, a union-reform alliance folds its tent.
Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect, January 18, 2005

It was one of those classic strange-bedfellow alliances. When the New Unity Partnership (NUP), a consortium of five international unions, formed in summer 2003 ... it brought together three of labor’s most progressive unions - the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), UNITE (the clothing and textile workers union), and HERE (the hotel employees union) - with two unions from the more conservative side of labor’s spectrum ... Time's Up

Syndicate content