Friday, May 20, 2011

Trumka Wants “Independent” Labor Movement, Divorced from Party | FDL News Desk

It’s practically a rite of passage for a labor leader to stress their independence from the Democratic Party. In the end, the alarm bells almost always go off, and labor runs back into the waiting arms of the Democrats. Not to mention that labor is intimately intertwined with the Democratic Party. They have seats on the DNC, fercryinoutloud. So will this time be any different? [cont'd.]

One change from previous years is that labor faces an existential crisis in the states. To the extent that they won’t focus their work on national Democrats, it’s because they’re trying to save themselves in Wisconsin and Ohio and Florida and New Hampshire and across the country. They don’t have much of a choice.

The second thing is that it’s been pretty plain to see that labor got almost nothing for their efforts for national Democrats over the past few years. A progressive member of Congress told me this week that he would understand labor not making the same investment in the Democratic Party, because the return on that investment has been so nonexistent. This candid recognition at the highest levels signals that labor has made their position known. In addition, nobody is better positioned than labor to make the argument that the working class has lost all its traction and faces an assault from inequality, wage stagnation and an economy that only works for the rich. Democrats have abandoned that ideological battle, so labor must pick up the slack.

1 comment:

E. said...

I'm late to the party (see what I did there), but one of my colleagues in the movement described the national debate about unions thusly:

On one side, you have the belief that unions are evil. On the other side, you have the belief that unions had their place once, but that their time came and went. The latter, he said, was exactly what the Democratic Party believes in it heart of hearts.

So Dems should stop taking our PAC money, right?