Thursday, March 3

WHY DEMOCRATS ARE PRO-UNION



This New York Sun piece explains why Democrats are so devoutly pro-labor, which really means pro-union, as the laborers get short-changed in the process and the unions' executives do what they want to do and give to whom they want to give. Simple as that.

The AFL-CIO Executive Committee just voted to reject the proposal of a large dissident faction to earmark more of the members' union dues for organizing drives and instead adopted by a 15-7 vote the proposal of AFL-CIO president John Sweeney to spend up to 40% of union dues' receipts on political activities. As writer Josh Gerstein writes, that would "effectively increase the federation's spending on politics by $50 million over the next four years." $50 million! Do you think DNC Chairman Howard Dean is licking his chops over that figure? Of course he is!

Union membership has been declining significantly, as have the fortunes of the Democratic Party. They seem to go hand in hand. Ask Dick Gephardt. Labor unions have lost touch with their memberships and worldwide competition has made union-scale wages and benefits (and unionized worker productivity) onerous for many employers.

Regardless, "pro-union" and "pro-labor" have become mutually exclusive terms anymore, kind of like "Democrat" and "conservative." Oh, the spending will continue, but few if any gains will be realized for the worker bees. Unionization in large measure is a legal means of shaking down dues-paying members for monies for the Democrats' campaign war chest -- nothing more, nothing less. Just ask any disgruntled union member.