Saturday, June 18, 2005

5 big unions form Change To Win coalition to shake up the AFL-CIO

Looks like great news to me. Five big unions with some of the most aggressive organizing drives in the last decade -- UNITED HERE, SEIU, the Teamsters, the Laborers and the United Food and Commercial Workers -- have teamed up to form a new coalition, Change To Win, to get the AFL-CIO (which is kind of like the United Nations of labor unions in the United States) to spend a lot less money on bureaucracy and a lot more money on organizing new unions.

Their website is here.

The main objections seem to be based on union democracy or a sense of bottom-up investment in the internal functions of the labor union. Those arguments don't have a lot of resonance to me -- they seem a tad indulgent. Wages are falling. The middle class is shrinking. We need more unions so we can raise wages, as that will be great for our entire economy. And if we can more unions faster with a less 'democratic' structure for labor unions, I'll take that deal in a heartbeat.

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