AFL-CIO slowly but surely coming to its end
see " Teamsters, SEIU to bolt AFL-CIO as part of four-union rift" (AP via IHT, 7/25/05) http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/07/25/business/web.0725teamster.php and "AFL-CIO President Blasts Heads of Unions" (AP via Yahoo, 7/25/05) http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050725/ap_on_bi_ge/labor_rift_7 The 1.8 million member Service Employees International Union, the largest part of the decrepit AFL-CIO plans to leave the out-of-date conglomeration of unions. The Teamsters will be leaving as well, as well as United Food and Commercial Workers and UNITE HERE. The total loss to the AFL-CIO will be at about 1/3 of its membership and operating budget. I find this to be fantastic news for America. Unions are generally little more than a tax on the rest of society. Fortunately, over the years a smaller and smaller part of the private sector has been unionized with only government workers consistently hanging on to union membership. [It says a lot about how wasteful our government is that they go along with this trend in unionizing among government workers, costing taxpayers billions of dollars unnecessarily.] To be clear, these unions are leaving because they think doing so will allow them to increase their membership more easily than through the corrupt AFL-CIO. And this may be right, but I'm not particularly worried. Americans simply don't support unions the way they used to and in an economy this competitive there's no reason we should. In the long run, the break-up of the AFL-CIO is also good news because there is a reasonable likelihood that different unions might take different positions on legislative issues. For example, the breakup might hurt big labor's ability to fight against personal accounts in Social Security or to reflexively support Democratic candidates for elected office. It is instructive to see left-wing Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) get directly involved in the discussion, saying "Our unity is our strength. We will stand together and fight for working families", essentially counting himself as a labor union member. We know who pays for his campaigns, and we know why he consistently makes statements which seem simply anti-American...because at their heart that's what big unions are.
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