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AFL-CIO's Trumka looks to ‘independent’ labor movement, seen as a warning to Democrats

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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 07:04 AM
Original message
AFL-CIO's Trumka looks to ‘independent’ labor movement, seen as a warning to Democrats
AFL-CIO's Trumka looks to ‘independent’ labor movement
By Kevin Bogardus - 05/20/11 06:33 AM ET

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will say Friday that workers want an “independent” labor movement designed to help the working class, not a specific party or candidate.

In a speech at the National Press Club, the head of the nation’s largest labor federation will say that unions intend to focus their 2012 political efforts not on lawmakers’ party affiliation but rather their stance on issues near and dear to labor.

“We are looking hard at how we work in the nation’s political arena. We have listened hard, and what workers want is an independent labor movement that builds the power of working people — in the workplace and in political life,” Trumka will say, according to excerpts of his remarks. “Our role is not to build the power of a political party or a candidate. It is to improve the lives of working families and strengthen our country.”

That, in effect, is a warning to Democrats, traditional allies of labor. The AFL-CIO president will say candidates will need to advance workers’ interests to earn labor’s backing come campaign season.

“It doesn’t matter if candidates and parties are controlling the wrecking ball or simply standing aside — the outcome is the same either way. If leaders aren’t blocking the wrecking ball and advancing working families’ interests, working people will not support them. This is where our focus will be — now, in 2012 and beyond,” Trumka will say.

<SNIP>

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/162331...
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boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. sounds good to me.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
2. Good. A needed wake-up call.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
3. Why do they spend all that on politics anyway?
Wouldn't they be better off organizing?

They are shrinking into too small a sliver of the population to be very relevant.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. About 12.1 % of Americans are in a Union
In some States it is higher, like 16%. About 12.4% of Americans are black. Are they too small a sliver to be very relevant as well? Arab Americans are about .5%, so clearly they are without any merit at all....
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. That is too small to create a norm.
Reversion to the mean will go against them if they hold up while everyone else falters.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
4. Get that bus ready -- Now it's Trumka's turn to see its underside
Edited on Fri May-20-11 07:57 AM by Armstead
Even though that's what all real liberals and progressives should be doing.

I imagine that even if he and organized labor do follow through on this, the number of Republicans they actually support will be nil...or close to nil.

But it could mean that Democrats who are actually liberal and Progressive will get a boost, while the "centrist" and conservative DINOs might find that they are not going to be able to rely on the automatic support of organized labor.



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Phx_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-11 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. That would be good.
The dems have always worked for the Unions. The Republicans have passed state laws restricting Unions' rights.

Hmmm, whom to vote for . . . .?
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
6. This is a good move. Remember
the AFl-CIO pulled support from candidates who didn't support health care reform and a public option. Also focusing resources at that state and local levels is going to be key in taking back governorships and legislatures.


<...>

“We’ll be less inclined to support people in the future that aren’t standing up and actually supporting job creation and the type of things that we’re talking about. It doesn’t matter what party they come from. It will be a measuring stick,” Trumka told POLITICO during an interview in his spacious eighth floor office.

Asked how President Barack Obama measures up, Trumka paused, gazed toward a window overlooking the White House and said, “I think the president has done a good job in articulating the problems and some of the solutions. I think scale has been the problem, the scale of the solutions. I don’t think the scale of the solutions have measured up.”

Worried that labor supporters will be tougher to mobilize than in 2008, Trumka said he is giving the speech to set the table for next year.

“Our national conversation right now is in a destructive place and the debate that we’re having is really over the moral character of the country . and it’s just going in the wrong direction with all of this cuts and all of this talk that we can’t afford secure jobs, good jobs anymore. We can’t afford health care. We can’t afford pensions,” he said. “The nation, right now, we feel poor. But we’re not, we’re a rich nation. We feel poor because most of the money is going to the people at the top. And yet the debate’s about how we can give more tax cuts to corporations who have had two years of record profits.”

Trumka said the union decided about a month ago to begin building a year-round mobilization effort to replace the traditional six-month pushes. Union officials will spend time educating their members on local, state and federal policy issues as well as tracking votes.

link


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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. For once I agree with you
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. Every American who Works for a Living...
...should be Warning the Democratic Party.

The Lower 98% has been getting the dirty end of the stick for over 30 years from BOTH political parties.


Who will STAND and FIGHT for THIS American Majority?
"By their WORKS you will know them."



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Phx_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-11 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
10. ROLFMAO!!!! Okay, Trumka. Go ahead and vote for the same people who
are taking away Unions rights to organize. Hey, maybe Scott Walking will throw his hat into the ring and you can rally behind him?!

What an asshole.



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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-11 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
12. Works for me. I know which side I'm on.
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Tarheel_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-11 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
13. Translation: Please, please Republicans, stop being mean to us.
I think a serious Labor Party could be a good thing. That way, both parties would have to actually court their support.
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RBInMaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-11 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
14. Yeah, and how much help does he see getting from ANY RePUKE??
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RBInMaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-11 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
15. Although, what this really means is they are going to give to individual candidates, not the party.&
They are going to focus their resources on local and state resources and not national. Union support will still go mainly to Dems, just at the more local level.
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