Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A First Thought on the AFL-CIO split

More later, but this note will suffice for now. Journalist and novelist Louis Adamic in 1932 wrote that the AFL was:

"ineffectual, flabby, inflicted with the dull pains of moral and physical decline. The big industrialists and conservative politicians are no longer worried by it. Indeed, the intelligent ones see in it the best obstacle--temporary at least--to the emergence of a militant and formidable labor movement...The ten year decline of the whole organization, I think, has already gone to far to be rejuvenated by anybody."

OK, very different times, very different circumstances. But labor recovered from one time when it was considered irrelevant. Maybe it can again.

From Sanford M. Jacoby, Employing Bureaucracy: Managers, Unions, and the Transformation of Work in American Industry, 1900-1945. Columbia University Press, 1985, p. 241.