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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:36 PM

Oh, good. DU likes unions again. Let's talk about solidarity.

It's nice to see support for Trumka swinging around again. But I'm here to tell you, if you're a liberal, it shouldn't swing.

It's dishonest to trot labor out when it suits your agenda. Some of us stand with labor no matter what. Because solidarity means solidarity. Not solidarity when I feel like it, or unless I think I know better. You either support the union movement, or you don't.

I stood with labor when Trumka was on the warpath last summer, and I stood with labor when Trumka joined the chorus to support the president on job creation.

I stand with them now. And I challenge all DU members who claim to support unions to do the same.

I stand with labor. I say again what I said in August last year:

If the AFL-CIO does not endorse Obama in 2012, I will withdraw my support.

If they endorse him, I will stand with labor and work for his reelection.


That's what solidarity means.

52 replies, 4249 views

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Arrow 52 replies Author Time Post
Reply Oh, good. DU likes unions again. Let's talk about solidarity. (Original post)
Robb Jan 2012 OP
Robb Jan 2012 #1
yurbud Jan 2012 #2
Robb Jan 2012 #4
Romulox Jan 2012 #3
Robb Jan 2012 #8
Populist_Prole Jan 2012 #21
Codeine Jan 2012 #22
zipplewrath Jan 2012 #5
Robb Jan 2012 #9
Gman Jan 2012 #6
FreakinDJ Jan 2012 #7
pintobean Jan 2012 #11
Bluenorthwest Jan 2012 #10
msongs Jan 2012 #12
pintobean Jan 2012 #13
Zalatix Jan 2012 #14
Arctic Dave Jan 2012 #15
Robb Jan 2012 #16
Arctic Dave Jan 2012 #18
Robb Jan 2012 #20
Arctic Dave Jan 2012 #25
Robb Jan 2012 #27
JonLP24 Jan 2012 #32
Robb Jan 2012 #33
JonLP24 Jan 2012 #34
Robb Jan 2012 #36
JonLP24 Jan 2012 #38
hfojvt Jan 2012 #17
provis99 Jan 2012 #19
Starry Messenger Jan 2012 #23
mike_c Jan 2012 #24
TBF Jan 2012 #26
madrchsod Jan 2012 #28
mzmolly Jan 2012 #29
Omaha Steve Jan 2012 #30
bigtree Jan 2012 #31
bread_and_roses Jan 2012 #35
Robb Jan 2012 #37
bread_and_roses Jan 2012 #42
Robb Jan 2012 #45
jpgray Jan 2012 #39
Zalatix Jan 2012 #40
fascisthunter Jan 2012 #41
Robb Jan 2012 #43
jpgray Jan 2012 #44
Robb Jan 2012 #47
stevenleser Jan 2012 #50
Robb Jan 2012 #51
jpgray Jan 2012 #52
WI_DEM Jan 2012 #46
YoungDemCA Jan 2012 #48
_ed_ Jan 2012 #49


Response to Robb (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:46 PM

2. I appreciate the list of endorsements from union leaders, but as an educator

I pay more attention to what he does.

His funding of education and cutting banks out of the student loan business are admirable, but he still seems married to the right wing vision of education reform that is shaped more by hedge fund managers looking to commoditize and profit from our kids through for profit charter schools and education management companies than shaped by actual educators.

He needs to say clearly that the right is wrong on this issue and put some daylight between himself and them. Otherwise, he's neutralizing the support of some of his most effective foot soldiers as well as pursuing a harmful policy.

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Response to yurbud (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:50 PM

4. Are you a member of your union?

Do you plan to stand in solidarity with your union?

That's what this is about. I appreciate contextualizing and nuance, but at the end of the day there is only one place to stand as a friend to labor, and that's with your union. Solidarity doesn't mean anything if you don't adhere to it.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:49 PM

3. The majority of DU thinks "Solidarity!" means "support MY union so I can make my Toyota payment."

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Response to Romulox (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:52 PM

8. That's another great point.

It is difficult to take a person seriously who calls for support of their union while simultaneously choosing not to engage in the simplest actions to show support of yours.

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Response to Robb (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 06:16 PM

21. I chuckled, but really, it is frustrating.

I work in a union shop and I just can't get over how many of my co-workers damn near worship Wal-Mart. It's like they couldn't live without it. Try as I might to get them to connect the dots between them supporting an entity whose business plan is to marginalize people like them, they just can't seem to connect the dots...or don't want to. True to form, too many seem fixated on making their Toyota payments. Hell, we even have an Atlas Shrugged fanatic here

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Response to Romulox (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 06:20 PM

22. Blue-collar unions - blue-collar workers of ALL sorts, really - get no respect here.

We have to support some unions without reservation while their members rail on about how they refuse to buy union-made cars. Judging from the state of education in this country their own unions aren't exactly churning out a perfect product either, but unlike them I will stand with them in solidarity, even while they cross picket lines to buy groceries during strikes.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:50 PM

5. As long as the CtW coalition agrees

Teamster roots here. Solidarity and all don't ya know.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:53 PM

9. Fair enough.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:50 PM

6. LOL! It won't last long

It only lasts as long as some here are doing something else besides being on DU.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:51 PM

7. We always have - minus a few trolls

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Response to FreakinDJ (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:56 PM

11. That's not true

Not even close. I wish it were, though.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:55 PM

10. What do you mean 'again'? I'm Union since I started working. Who are these fair

weather supporters you speak of? They sure don't speak for DU. Who do you mean?

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:03 PM

12. how does "withdraw my support" = solidarity lol You are standing w/Obama not your union then nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:16 PM

13. withdraw support of Obama

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:24 PM

14. A thousand recs. No, ten thousand. No, a hundred million

 

You'd get one for every Democrat in America, if we were smart.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:23 PM

15. I stand with Labor, I will never stand with the TSA.

 

Fuck those shitstains.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 03:54 PM

16. OK, you lost me.

Where do the TSA enter into things?

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Response to Robb (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:12 PM

18. TSA is union.

 

Another one of Obama's "accomplishments.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 06:03 PM

20. I'll put you down as "I stand with labor, except when I think I know better," then.

Thanks for letting us know.

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Response to Robb (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:51 PM

25. I put you down as, "its only a little fascist so...

 

Thanks for letting us know. Smiley

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #25)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:02 PM

27. Any other unions you don't approve of?

Or is it just government workers who shouldn't be allowed to organize?

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Response to Robb (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:43 AM

32. So when Maricopa Co Police Union endorses Arpaio

or a union-busting (they sure do) Republican, do you stand with them? In my hometown which is heavily Republican, police and fire department unions often endorse far-right wingers such as Russell Pearce does that mean they have your or support or do you "stand with labor, except when I think I know better"?

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #32)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:02 AM

33. NAPO and IUPA are both AFL-CIO affiliates.

Who do you think AFL-CIO will endorse for president? Do you plan to abandon labor entirely because you don't like the politics of a local you aren't even a member of?

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Response to Robb (Reply #33)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:20 AM

34. This thread

was about support of unions based upon who they supported, I was replying to your reply about the TSA where if I understand correctly--was saying it doesn't matter who they support since they don't like what they do. TSA which is different than AFL-CIO I was wondering if you feel this way about all unions and who they support. Like if this union supports a Republican, does it mean to you if you don't support that union's candidate it means you don't support the union?

To answer your questions, I support unions because they increase wages. I'm not abandoning anybody, just not understanding how that refusing to support who they support means union support is conditional but I think I'm understanding that you didn't mean all unions like the police unions here in my example. Did you mean only AFL-CIO(which I'm not a member of either) and who they support w/ your "stand w/ labor" comments and not the various unions that do support Republicans?

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #34)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:43 AM

36. TSA employees recently voted to join AFGE.

AFGE is affiliated with AFL-CIO. My union (UA) is as well.

The whole point of solidarity is standing together to be stronger. If you pick and choose when you support your union, your union becomes weaker at the bargaining table because the other side knows they can chip away at your membership. Solidarity is support for labor in its most fundamental form.

The right of workers to collectively bargain is essential to democracy. Locals will endorse the local candidates they feel will most advance this cause on their level, based on the wishes and needs of their membership. AFL-CIO will do the same, but at the national level -- with more emphasis on the union movement as a whole, obviously.

And the locals and affiliates will stand together with the AFL-CIO. If you do not belong to a union, but wish to express solidarity with unions from a philosophical standpoint -- which it sounds like you do -- the easiest way to do so is to stand with a national federation.

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Response to Robb (Reply #36)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:54 AM

38. All I was asking

about unions in general and who they support and what you think it means when you don't support their candidate. Then I wondered if you meant just the AFL-CIO and their unions. I think I understand completely what you mean and I apologize for misunderstanding.

If the AFL-CIO endorsed Romney I'm not going to support Romney and I don't think it means I don't support unions because they choose him. I know they won't but I'm just trying to explain more clearly what I mean. Plus, there are hundreds of things to consider when evaluating a candidate for President.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:07 PM

17. so solidarity means that I obediently follow Trumpka

whether I agree with him or not?

So whether the $400,000 man is on my side or not, I am supposed to be on his side?

No thanks.

My solidarity is with the bottom 60%, where I live. "If there is a lower class, I am in it ..."

Debs could say that from his jail cell. I can say that from my janitor's job.

Trumpka cannot. Trumpka is in the top 1%.

I welcome his voice when, or if, he fights for the bottom 60%, but when he doesn't, then piss on him.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:02 PM

19. fuck unions when they riot against hippies.

 

Blue collar republicans are as bad as white collar republicans.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 06:31 PM

23. I'm in AFT, an AFL-CIO affiliate.

There's zero chance that either is not going to endorse Obama. I think we all know that. That being said, members can certainly critique the actions of our unions, that's what the structure is there for. It's all of us.

And for the record, I drive a 2000 Ford Ranger. Going to hold onto it as long as I can, since it looks like Rangers are being moved to an overseas operation, very unfortunate.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:12 PM

24. Robb, I'm an officer in my union...

...(California Faculty Assn, SEIU 1983), and I certainly stand with them. I'm not entirely sure what point your OP seeks to make, but I'll relate what seems to be going on among other CFA activists that I interact with. Generally speaking, the CFA is politically aligned with democratic party leaders in California. We don't generally involve ourselves in national elections-- there are too many issues of importance to higher ed right here in California-- but the discussion I hear among fellow activists is generally critical of the current democratic administration-- the Obama administration-- and its education policies.

It would certainly be premature, and probably a mistake, to suggest that CFA leadership doesn't support Obama generally, but there IS a great deal of disappointment and disillusionment among our activists, many of whom worked very hard to support Obama in 2008.

That said, it's a union of academics, LOL, so while we have solidarity regarding CONTRACT and WORK issues, for the most part, this is NEVER a group that will agree on politics except that we're all far more liberal than the norm I see represented in the U.S. media.

Not sure whether this fits in with your thread or not. Forgive me if it doesn't.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:55 PM

26. Not a union member myself -

but my parents were (my dad for 15 years). I don't cross picket lines and I stand with you in solidarity.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:06 AM

28. just back from a afscme union conference....

we sure in the hell ain`t going to endorse a republican. we have big issues with several dino in this state but we know obama is the only hope we have.

the real fight is in the states...both the senate and house could go to the republicans. if that happens we are all fucked.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 03:49 AM

29. I support unions because they support the issues that I do.

So does Obama, by and large. If the AFL-CIO doesn't support Obama, after he saved the us auto industry, I'll withdraw my support for THEM, not the President.

As my Mom used to say if X jumped off a cliff...

Sorry, not jumping off a cliff and taking the country with me because of anything the AFL-CIO does, or does not do.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:22 AM

30. AFSCME Endorses President Obama for Reelection


I'm one of 1.6 million members. We are one of the largest donors to the Democratic party across the USA!

OS


http://www.afscme.org/news/press-room/press-releases/2011/afscme-endorses-president-obama-for-reelection

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Contact: Chris Fleming, 202-429-1053
AFSCME Endorses President Obama for Reelection

McEntee: “Obama is the only choice for the 99%”
Washington, DC —

The 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union, AFL-CIO (AFSCME) announced today their endorsement of Pres. Barack Obama for reelection in 2012. The AFSCME International Executive Board passed a resolution of endorsement at today’s International Executive Board Meeting.

“President Obama is the only choice for the 99%. We must put people back to work, make the 1 percent pay their fair share, and protect Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. President Obama will stand up for working families,” said AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee. “Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have a prescription for the U.S. economy that was written by the same corporate interests that got us into this mess in the first place. We’ve all seen the depths the right-wing extremists governors will go to at the expense of working families, and we certainly don’t need that type of leadership in the White House. The GOP candidates just don’t get it, they are out of touch with reality. We believe that American voters are smarter than that and will say thanks but no thanks to their 1 percent agenda and work to re-elect President Obama to a second term.”

AFSCME’s Executive board voted to endorse today, and will now begin an extensive conversation with members and non-members nationwide. In 2008, AFSCME launched a one-of-a-kind nationwide campaign to elect President Obama. AFSCME recruited more than 40,000 activists, made more than 6 million calls to members and deployed hundreds of staff to 17 key battleground states to ensure a victory.

“It’s unbelievable that the GOP leadership and Presidential candidates are so eager to protect the Bush tax breaks for millionaires that they are willing to cut off benefits for the long-term unemployed and repeal a payroll tax cut,” added Michael Ebersole, a highway maintenance technician for the Florida Department of Transportation and Local 3106 AFSCME member. “President Obama’s call—to invest in innovation and infrastructure that will put people back to work today and build a strong foundation for the future—is what this country needs. I intend to work day and night to ensure this President gets a second term.”

AFSCME's 1.6 million members provide the vital services that make America happen. With members in hundreds of different occupations — from nurses to corrections officers, child care providers to sanitation workers — AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and prosperity and opportunity for all working families.

###

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 07:33 AM

31. I support unions

we don't waver


29 years

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:41 AM

35. Our own unions do not demand our political "obediance"

But you do?

Look, I admire your commitment to solidarity, but I do not accept your definition. And yes, I am a union member, and yes, I stand in solidarity with my Sisters and Brothers.

But every piece of political literature I've ever seen during elections has, at the bottom, a sentence that says: "How you vote is a personal decision." And that literature comes straight from the AFL-CIO.

As someone above asked, so if my union were to endorse some right-wing nutcase or, in my case, any Republican (whatever my disgust with Democrats, I never have and never will "pull a lever" for an R - I might not vote, or vote for someone beside the D, but never for an R) I am to volunteer and vote for that nut-job because my union supports him/her? I don't think so.

So you can put me down in your methodology as "for solidarity except when I know better" if you like. I don't accept your criteria. Nor has my union - or the AFL-CIO - ever asked me to.

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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #35)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:48 AM

37. Actually, they have. And will again.

http://blog.aflcio.org/2008/08/18/trumka-workers-will-come-together-in-2008-vote/

When union members encounter people who say they can’t vote for Barack Obama because he’s black, workers can’t stay silent and sit on the sidelines, Trumka said, because too much is at stake.

"When you hear someone say America isn’t ready for a black president, you have to get in their face and say: “You may not be ready for Barack Obama, but I sure as hell am!”"

The fact is that Obama is the only presidential candidate who supports working people, and that is the message we have to spread, Trumka added.

"Between now and Election Day, we need to make it personal. We need to make it our business to educate those folks. We need to tell them that if they care about holding on to their jobs, their health care, their pensions, and their homes; if they care about child care, pay equity for women workers; if they want to leave their children a better, fairer, more decent America than the one that was given to us; there’s only going to be one candidate on the ballot this fall who’s earned their votes. And his name is Barack Obama!"

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Response to Robb (Reply #37)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:25 AM

42. To exhort is not to demand

We need to make it our business to educate those folks.


Of course. That's what we do - we educate, exhort, encourage - we ask. Again, on the bottom of all that literature: "how you vote is a personal decision."

A union member is not required to abandon his/her rights and responsibilities as a citizen when s/he signs a card, nor are we asked to abandon our conscience or ethics.

I think your conflation of "solidarity" with support for a particular politician is entirely misguided. Solidarity is much too important, much too fundamental to be attached to a particular politician. And that applies however much or little I might support any particular politician.

So we will have to agree to disagree on this one. But if you are on a picket line, believe me, I will not cross it, and would stand and walk with you. No matter who you voted for. As I have done, many times.

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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #42)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:09 AM

45. You said ask. They asked.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:19 AM

39. Like all loyalty oaths, this one is deeply stupid

You have to be sillier than a child to yoke your support to a label rather than a principle, because the label is only a symbol, and may finally stand for ideals utterly alien to those it originally represented. It's true of flags, it's true of parties, it's true of any organization.

If unions slip into complete uselessness, espouse complete and cuddly cooperation with those who undermine labor, strip themselves of all meaningful bargaining power, and otherwise betray everything that make them currently worthy of support, they should receive none, even from their most fervent supporters in the past.

"My -blank-, right or wrong" is a maxim that can be followed in complete ignorance of what the supported organization is actually doing and how it has changed. It is better to tie one's support to what an organization actually represents and always look to sustain and expand its best principles.

Unions are worthy of solidarity today, absolutely. But that may not always be the case on specific issues or specific unions. Do you support SOPA, by the way?

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Response to jpgray (Reply #39)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:22 AM

40. Solidarity is a wise principle. Still, there are corrupt unions just like there is corruption

 

in all organizations.

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Response to jpgray (Reply #39)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:23 AM

41. "deeply stupid" is putting it mildly

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Response to jpgray (Reply #39)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:48 AM

43. If unions do those things, they aren't unions.

Will you now share your brilliant insight into whether you'll support unions if they turn into cheese custard?

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Response to Robb (Reply #43)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 09:54 AM

44. No "true" union, right?

So it goes! What's your take on SOPA, if you don't mind my asking one who is in "true" solidarity?

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Response to jpgray (Reply #44)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:14 AM

47. You're describing a hypothetical. Paving the way to stand against labor.

You've had months to prepare for the fact that unions will support this president, and your only response is to try to minimize the importance of solidarity. Or ask about an unpopular bit of solidarity in an attempt to exploit a potential disagreement among union members.

Exactly what management does. Are you proud of that?

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Response to Robb (Reply #47)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:04 AM

50. That person is not describing a hypothetical, the Screen Actors Guild supported SOPA

http://www.sag.org/joint-statement-sag-afm-aftra-dga-iatse-and-ibt-regarding-stop-online-piracy-act-hr-3261

Joint Statement from SAG, AFM, AFTRA, DGA, IATSE and IBT Regarding Stop Online Piracy Act (HR 3261)
Joint Statement from SAG, AFM, AFTRA, DGA, IATSE and IBT Regarding Stop Online Piracy Act (HR 3261)October 26, 2011, 12:47pmFiled in: Digital Theft, Press & Media. Los Angeles (October 26, 2011) – American Federation of Musicians (AFM), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) today released the following statement:

“As the Guilds and Unions that represent more than 400,000 craftspeople, actors, technicians, directors, musicians, recording artists and others whose creativity is at the heart of the American entertainment industry, we applaud Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), and Congressmen Howard Berman (D-CA) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) along with several other Members of Congress, for introducing HR 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act today.

“This legislation, a companion bill to the PROTECT IP Act currently in the Senate, will provide U.S. law enforcement agencies with the tools to protect American intellectual property, including the films, television shows and sound recordings created by our members, from foreign rogue websites that knowingly and deliberately engage in the illegal distribution of our content for profit.

“Left unchecked, these rogue websites threaten the vitality of the online marketplace by stealing the work of American innovators and undermining legitimate business. They profit by offering access to content that they had no role at all in creating or financing, and they threaten real jobs, not only for our members but for those with whom they collaborate on set and hundreds of thousands of others whose livelihoods are dependent on the economic health of our business. Without proactive measures like the STOP Online Piracy Act, rogues sites will continue to siphon away wages and benefits from members of the creative community, greatly compromising our industry’s ability to foster creativity, provide opportunities, and ensure good jobs.


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Response to stevenleser (Reply #50)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:35 AM

51. Two posts up he is, Steven.

As for SOPA, read my post you responded to. It was an unpopular moment of solidarity, one of a thousand moments every month. And you want to pick at an unpopular piece of solidarity, you're using the same tactics union-busters have used since the movement began.

It's a way to weaken the union, and later, when they're fighting for something you might agree with, they won't be as successful. Solidarity means we're in it for the long fight.

Put another way, solidarity when it's easy isn't much solidarity at all.

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Response to Robb (Reply #47)

Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:50 AM

52. The big unions and I will be supporting the same guy in 2012

No problems there. In any dispute with management, I'll always be on the side of the worker. There are unions and unions, however, and acknowledging disagreement does not mean exploiting it for some nefarious aim (what would my aim be here?). SOPA is one such area, you could see the Longview docks as another recent example - would that be a case where one party resembles your "no true union" concept? Where unions look to advance their particular kind of worker and his work over others, there is going to be disagreement. Where unions look to challenge management, I think anything less than solidarity is hard to justify.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:13 AM

46. the AFL-CIO was always going to endorse Obama in 2012

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:17 AM

48. Well said

We all should stand with labor and working people, no matter what.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2012, 10:45 AM

49. I stand with Unions

I stand with Democrats when, and only when, they support Unions and working people. End of story.

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