Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Labor's split will be a lifesaver, not a disaster, for Dems

I'm headed over to Navy Pier to the AFL-CIO convention in a moment to see Governor Blagojevich sign HB 1480 that protects the right to picket a workplace during his speech to the delegates, and I want to throw in my bold predition: the new CIO that is almost certain to form with the Change To Win coalition will be a godsend for the Democratic Party in 2006, not the disaster that some Dem strategists are bemoaning.

(Quick history: the reason why the UN of labor unions is called the AFL-CIO and has the hyphen is because of the merger of two distinct federations, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The former was the original federation and has existed for almost a century, while the CIO was formed in the 30s by dissident unions that felt the AFL at the time was too slow, too bureaucratic and too entrenched to really organize workers into unions in order to raise their living standards. In the 50s, the two got together. But the unions and organizers and workers who invested in the CIO were the energy and heart of the successful labor movement that raised living standards. Similarly, the Change To Win people are likely to the be the most energetic and successful organizers in the next decade).

The Change To Win coalition is not unlike the Dean wing of the Democratic Party. They are impatient with D.C. insiders and realize that we need new ways to engage with people and a far bolder message and plan than we have been peddling for the last couple of decades. I think if you like Dean, you like the Change To Win split. If you fear or dislike Dean, you don't like the split.

And I like Dean.

5 comments:

MDS said...

I agree with you completely, Dan. Keep in mind that the Service Employees International Union endorsed Dean before endorsing Dean was cool. I think competition is a good thing, and it will be nice to have competition among the labor unions to see what's the best way of representing workers. The only way you could believe this is a bad thing for the Democrats is if you believe one of these splinter unions will start supporting Republicans. And no one believes that.

:::::HST said...

I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you, Dan, but I won't clutter up your comments here--I'll just post a response over at Howtown.

Anonymous said...

Completely off topic, is anyone else completely bored with the Gidwitz commercial already? Good lord. I want to stab myself every time if comes on now, and its barely been a week! There got to be a better use for campaign funds....

Bill Baar said...

Read Andy Stern on Globalization and Global Unions. He's a throughtful guy and no Deaniac. I

Daniel said...

Hi Dan, no one ever accused me of being a Deaniac, but I am loving the split. The SEIU actually has a clue about where the labor movement needs to evolve, while many of the others still don't get it.