Sunday, June 12, 2005

Good Luck to Organizing Unions

I wanted to wish good luck to the new federation of unions committed to organizing. SEIU, the Laborers, HERE/UNITE, SEIU, and the Teamsters have created a coalition to promote organizaiton among private workers in America, something that the mainstream of the AFL-CIO has been reticent to do since World War II. While organizing has improved throughout the federation over the last 10 years, it still woefully lacks enough force and support to stem the tide of the loss of industrial union jobs in the country. At this point only 1 in 13 private workers are union members and it is hard to see how we build a progressive political coalition in this country without a strong labor movement. It is possible that this is a first move for these unions to follow the lead of the Carpenters and leave the AFL-CIO. I would prefer to not see that happen but if it does, may it transform unionism throughout the country.