Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Enough Is Enough!!

Stop Wasting Union Resources On The Democratic Party

I remember during the Clinton administration when the AFL-CIO Convention was held at the Sheraton Hotel in NYC with President Clinton as the keynote speaker, the AFL hired a non-union production company and crew to produce the broadcast of this historic event. We were able to seed the non-union crew with IATSE Local 644 members, myself included, and embarrassed the AFL-CIO big time with a short, loud, organizing campaign.

But, if our own labor organizations circumvent union labor when they think nobody is looking, how can we expect our "allies" in the DNC to behave differently. With it being open season on organized labor in these tough economic times, it is no surprise that the DNC picked a non-union venue in a "right to work" (for less) State for the Democratic National Convention.

We should raise the hue and cry throughout the land against this slap in the face to labor. We should respond by keeping our member's dues in our treasuries for use to organize and withhold all PAC contributions from any and all Democratic Party candidates that do not actively and publicly denounce the decision to hold the Convention in a non-union venue and do not actively support worker's rights.

The re-purposing of the more than $ 250 million dollars labor unions contribute to Democratic candidates and the use of these funds and the countless thousands of volunteer hours donated to these campaigns by our members to a concerted, nationwide organizing campaign to raise union density across the nation would send a message that would be a clear wake-up call the the erstwhile "party of working people" to put up or shut up.

We need to stop wasting Union resources on the Democratic Party, they are no more friends to organized labor than the Republicans. Support only those candidates of either party that have a track record of fighting for labor rights, human rights, civil rights, diversity, and fair play and thumb our collective noses at the rest.

Robert R. Daraio


John Amman wrote: You raise an interesting question. You know I met with John Sweeney’s people after the shameful Sheraton episode and was assured that they would insist that their subcontractors were union. Years later a member in DC told me that he worked freelance for the AFL-CIO and was paid as an independent contractor. You were the one who brought this to everyone’s attention and we all agreed that we’d keep the problem ‘in-house’ and allow the labor movement to clean up the problem since we had a new AFL-CIO Prez. I guess that didn’t happen.  FYI, I still have my copies of the independent contractor start forms you gave me.

John Amman
Eastern Region Business Rep.
IATSE Local 600
International Cinematographers Guild


Sarah Jaffe wrote:  So, regarding "Enough is Enough," I think it's long past time to stop devoting resources to the Democratic party. They don't care about us, whether us is poor women in need of an abortion or hotel workers who aren't allowed to organize.

COMMENTS from this same article posted at:

KarenM wrote on February 2nd, 2011 at 10:25 am:

......if union members (and women) took over the Democratic party, from the inside-out, the party would eventually be transformed. And more of us would get those priorities met that we think are so important.


Rayne wrote on  February 2nd, 2011 at 11:13 am:

If the union did this inside the next 90 days, they could field a primary candidate, and they could be so bold as to deny Obama endorsement of his own party at the same time.

If unions’ leaders were worth their salt in organizing skills, they could reach out to the members of the left who exited the veal pen and ask them to join the effort.

Gods know I’ve seen enough itchy union members at party meetings who not at all happy; I know some leaders at local level who’ve cut deals with Republicans because they couldn’t support the Dems who were sure to stab them in the back. It’d be better to just take the party back.

Larue wrote February 2nd, 2011 at 3:59 pm:

1) I can’t believe the Unions DON’T know this. Power Vacuum . . .

2) So why DON’T they do this.

3) And I concur with you fully IF the Unions had the best interests of the masses (or their members) in mind and did what you suggest in your first comment we’d have a field day.

So, elephant in room is: Why DON’T the Unions do what is something so simple?

Cuz their leadership is paid not to. By the PTB. That’s MY initial take . . .

Letsgetitdone wrote February 2nd, 2011 at 9:19 pm:

I agree. Taking over the D Party is a better use of Union funds than supporting Dems after people have beens elected who will sell the Unions out. After all the support the Unions gave Obama in 2008; it is absolutely inexcusable that EFCA wasn’t passed, Make the Democrats the Labor Party!

Normanb wrote on February 2nd, 2011 at 10:03 pm:

But the Democratic Party is more and more identifying as the party of Organized Crime, and I think Organized Labor may want to get away from that image. Wouldn’t it be better to replace the Democratic Party with the Labor Party? If you let the crooks high up in the Democratic Party hold the money, don’t you think they’ll run off with it like the dictator of Tunisia?

Ambassadorzot wrote on  February 2nd, 2011 at 10:05 am:

This man has the right idea. For far too long, the voice of unions has been faithfully backing the right wing agenda of both political parties. I remember the hard hats and other unions who backed the Nixon war machine because they bought the short term and disgusting message that war meant jobs. Lap dogs since then, unions are basically the timid servants of the corporate socialism that is passed off as capitalism.

Now that both political parties have sold you out and marched to the right of where even Ronny Reagan used to stand, if you all don’t begin taking a brisk walk back towards the Left, and recruit new allies among working people of all types, union members are destined to become as rare as honest bankers.

KarenM wrote on February 2nd, 2011 at 10:27 am:

Even non-union members benefit from a far larger percentage of people belonging to unions. It makes the hiring atmosphere more competitive and those who want to hire the best, must offer better compensation and better benefits.

Unfortunately, those days have been behind for some time now… but if, as Rayne suggests, the unions (and women) take over the DNC from the inside-out, we’ll have something new and wonderful. Eventually.

Star wrote on February 2nd, 2011 at 4:58 pm:

When you get to the end of that yellow brick road, the only you’ll hear is "Sister can you spare a dime?"

Workingclass wrote on February 2nd, 2011 at 2:30 pm:

Amen brother. I hate to see union dues going to the Democrats in Washington. It’s like feeding the hand that bites you.

Star wrote on February 2nd, 2011 at 3:55 pm:

THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE. Now. I’m tired of the old tune while I’m dancing to death without health care. No more democrats for me. Vote green or don’t vote at all.

Larue wrote on February 2nd, 2011 at 4:04 pm:

I will agree the ONLY way I’d support any effort INSIDE the Dim Party would be if Unions took it over completely and PROVED they were acting for and believe in the good of the masses.

Course, I don’t believe present union leaders really act or believe in us masses . . . so there’s hurdle to overcome before any Dim Party takeover is posible . . .

Ergo: this is all pipe dreaming.

3rd Party, a must. Don’t waste your vote on status quo. DOn’t give into fear, someone(s) must begin the process, using votes.

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