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GREAT NEWS: AFL-CIO Facing Major Financial Woes
| November 28, 2003
| LEIGH STROPE
Posted on 11/28/2003 1:12:54 PM PST by nwrep
WASHINGTON - The AFL-CIO is enduring a budget shortfall so severe that its own workers are taking two days of unpaid leave to avoid layoffs, even as the labor federation attempts to mobilize its largest-ever political campaign.
Dubbed "solidarity days," the days off were agreed to this past summer in contract negotiations between managers and the union representing about 200 workers at the AFL-CIO, an umbrella organization of 64 international unions. Managers also have agreed to take the unpaid time.
AFL-CIO spokeswoman Lane Windham said employees covered by the Newspaper Guild Local 32035 decided they would rather lose pay for two days than face layoffs caused by a "budget crunch."
Other belt-tightening measures are being taken in response to a dismal economy that slammed many unions with layoffs, and to launch a "do-or-die" election effort next year to defeat a cash-flush President Bush (news - web sites).
The number of potential layoffs was never discussed in the negotiations, said Deborah Weinstock, an AFL-CIO employee and a guild leader. "It didn't get to that point," she said.
Windham said that members of AFL-CIO-affiliated unions have been hit hard by the loss of 2.3 million jobs since January 2001, particularly in the manufacturing sector, which has slashed payrolls for 38 consecutive months.
Defeating Bush in 2004 has become a question of survival for organized labor. Union leaders maintain Bush is determined to destroy the political power of unions, and they see permanent damage in a second term.
"It's safe to say we will put as much as we possibly can of all of our resources into the political campaign," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.
Some union presidents have asked Sweeney to trim fat from the AFL-CIO's overall budget and to apply any savings to the federation's political program.
With Bush expected to pocket over $200 million in campaign contributions, "I think we know that to be able to talk to our members and in some cases nonunion voters, we're going to need a lot of resources to be heard," said Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, the largest in the AFL-CIO.
About $5 million was diverted from the labor federation's organizing efforts to help fund what Sweeney said is "the biggest, earliest, most aggressive grass-roots political program in our history."
The federation has about $35 million budgeted for member mobilization and politics in the election cycle, Sweeney said. That's less than the $42 million spent in 2000.
But some union presidents are pushing for a $45 million budget that also would help fund several of the union-run political nonprofit groups that have been created to turn out Democratic voters.
Labor leaders early next year will consider levying on affiliate unions another surcharge of 4 cents per member per month called a per-capita tax to raise funds.
"We're going to put together as strong a financial resource package" as possible, Sweeney said.
But the tax hike could encounter some resistance. The same surcharge was approved for the 2002 election cycle after much grumbling from some unions and it was supposed to pay for the political program through 2005.
Some unions find they are strapped for cash. The United Food and Commercial Workers, for instance, is pouring money into the nearly two-month labor dispute in California between grocery chains and some 70,000 workers.
The union is drawing from a line of credit on its headquarters building in Washington to help fund strike benefits for workers and to pay for other costs, and it has asked other unions for financial support.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the second-largest union in the AFL-CIO, is cutting spending to raise more money for politics.
AFSCME is suspending raises for its employees in 2004 and directing the six-figure savings to politics, said President Gerald McEntee. Travel also is being restricted, including a ban on first-class tickets, and other cuts are being considered.
"We're telling people for 2004 we've got to postpone a lot of this this is kind of a do-or-die situation," McEntee said.
TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: aflcio; communistsubversion; demwhore; electionpresident; union; unionbosses; unions
posted on 11/28/2003 1:12:55 PM PST
To: *Union Bosses; *Election President; *Communist Subversion
posted on 11/28/2003 1:14:12 PM PST
What a shock.
The comrades are not so good at managing finances.
posted on 11/28/2003 1:15:29 PM PST
(Slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch...)
AFL-CIO LAYS OFF 120,000 UNION GOONS - MAY GO BUST
Oh, no. Not another WillieGreen post!
posted on 11/28/2003 1:18:18 PM PST
by Jim Robinson
(Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
This sounds really stupid to me.I hope a lot of union menbers agree.
posted on 11/28/2003 1:18:23 PM PST
Now, if only the Teachers Unions and George Soros would go bankrupt!! :)
posted on 11/28/2003 1:19:12 PM PST
(I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
Only union thugs could screw up a private business where it's income is extorted from selected members of society.
The damage that Sweeny has done to t he AFL-CIO is massive. The union under him has become so partisan that Democrats in 2000 had little fear when they voted to admit China into the WTO deal, and the AFL-CIO has ben so anti Republican at levels not even seen in the 40s that many anti globalist and anti constiutionalist Republicans who would be allies with them are disgusted. The AFL-CIO has become a public employee union, and under Sweenys horrible leadership, the private sector workforce has further languished.
posted on 11/28/2003 1:23:37 PM PST
Actually private industry union workers lean conservative on social issues, and overall, I believe private sector union workers voted for Bush in 2000(though they only make up around 40%-45% of unionised employees now), and many are pissed at their dues going for causes they do not believe in, and are pissed at how ineffective Sweeny has been for workers in the private sector. Not once after Sweeny took charge in 95 did the AFL-CIO hold the Clinton admins feet to the fire.
posted on 11/28/2003 1:26:13 PM PST
To: Jim Robinson
Oh the irony.
posted on 11/28/2003 1:29:36 PM PST
Gee, I'm deeply saddened by this story.
I wonder if the union leadership thugs/socialists will still have enough confiscated union dues to buy off democrats in the 2004 election...
posted on 11/28/2003 1:32:11 PM PST
(The democRATS are near the tipping point.)
Well I guess they can cut the Las Vegas junkets ...... er conferences and the hookers,
the trips to Atlantis in the Bahamas for "fact finding" and the hookers... I mean international conferences,,
and the trips to Asia for gambling and ..... hookers, I mean international solidarity conferences. ,
Wait till they go through the books and find the "retirement fund" has hand scrawled IOU's, co-signed by..... hookers. hahahahahahahahahahahahaa
posted on 11/28/2003 1:32:28 PM PST
by Dick Vomer
(liberals suck....but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is .)
There are three strategies to get the AFL-CIO out of this terrible predicament. First, cut the wages and benefits of ALL AFL-CIO employees by 50%, second, when AFL-CIO bosses go to resorts for all their meetings and conferences, double up on all bets in the casinos, and finally, double the dues of all remaining AFL-CIO members. They could also eliminate AFL-CIO payment of rent for the mistresses of AFL-CIO bosses or, at least, pay for no more than two, but that would require a terrible sacrifice.
posted on 11/28/2003 1:34:18 PM PST
What's the average wage of an AFL-CIO member, about $50/hr?
Yep, these unions dedicated to the welfare of Joe Six-Pack and his chillun continue to gouge dues from him and still pour millions of extorted $$$'s into the black-hole coffers of liberal 'Rat politicians.
The union thug bosses live like kings, and wine and dine at presidents' and senators' tables with nary of thought of lowering dues money and turning it back to those laborers who really need it.
Someday, the workers will wake up.
We need another Industrial Revolution from the rank-and-file.
posted on 11/28/2003 1:37:47 PM PST
(Start saving your pesos for "FReeps Ahoy 3" in spring. Give each other a cruise for Christmas!)
Union Worker = Oxymoron
posted on 11/28/2003 1:40:36 PM PST
(Got principles? http://www.LP.org)
The socialist unionists, watching their capitalist employers send their jobs to communist China...while their Marxist Democrat "leaders" scream in protest...
Now, that should give them a headache...
WHO TO BLAME?
posted on 11/28/2003 1:44:03 PM PST
by river rat
(War works......It brings Peace... Give war a chance to destroy Jihadists...)
The affected AFL-CIO workers should form a union.
posted on 11/28/2003 1:50:28 PM PST
Exactly. The old union leaders were firmly anticommunist and had real working class backgrounds. Their chief concern was more benefits for the workers.
These guys are a bunch of effete new leftists, far to the left of their memberships, whose chief concern is to push abortion and sexual perversion. I don't think that goes over very well with the rank and file. That's why I think Karl Rove is truly stupid not to put more emphasis on the right to life and opposition to gay radicalism.
posted on 11/28/2003 1:51:52 PM PST
If defense of Rove, we do not know how the campiagn will play out by next summer, and what the Bush admin will push. But I agree with you 100%, the AFL-CIO has been taken over the by the againg hippies, and all they care about seems to be protection of public employee jobs and liberal social issues. In a few years after Sweeny has retired(or we can hope be thrown out of the job), people will look upon his tenure as a overall disaster.
posted on 11/28/2003 1:55:29 PM PST
After getting their ashes kicked in 94, it was "We'll spend everything we have to get back the Congress in 96!" They did and and they didn't. In 98 it was the same. In 00 it was the same. In 02 it was the same. In 04 it will be the same. It will continue to be the same until rat unions stop the socialist crap and work for their members' contracts and work place related issues instead. Fortunately, they won't ha ha ha!
posted on 11/28/2003 2:03:06 PM PST
( Please support how-odd? dean in the primaries. That just might get us 4 more senate seats!)
One more thing, if ever there was a time to enforce Beck, this is it!! It would gease the slide of the rat unions right into the sewers!
posted on 11/28/2003 2:06:54 PM PST
( Please support how-odd? dean in the primaries. That just might get us 4 more senate seats!)
...its own workers are taking two days of unpaid leave to avoid layoffs.
STRIKE!!!! They should picket the evil, rich, people taking their pay from them!!! Where is the protection for these poor laborers. They won't have enough money to buy little Johnnie Christmas presents this year!!! ACK!!! Liberal media where are you?!?!
posted on 11/28/2003 2:11:44 PM PST
(Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.)
To: Jim Robinson; *Union Bosses; *Election President; *Communist Subversion
||% Work force
posted on 11/28/2003 2:14:39 PM PST
To: Jim Robinson
I spit all over my screen. :-}}
posted on 11/28/2003 2:14:40 PM PST
Does this mean they may have to intimidate voters on election day without pay??!!
posted on 11/28/2003 2:18:34 PM PST
(Consciously denying my prejudices)
What a shock. The comrades are not so good at managing finances.
Not when their crooked, corrupt leaders are stuffing their own products with money ripped off the workers.
posted on 11/28/2003 2:19:22 PM PST
In a few years after Sweeny has retired(or we can hope be thrown out of the job), people will look upon his tenure as a overall disaster.
Personally, I hope Sweeny stay on a good, long time, and continues to bleed these guys white, until all of their lines of credit and other financial assets are gone, and they have absolutely nothing to show for it. Then, and only then, will it be time for Sweeny to go. Or join Hoffa. Whatever.
"The affected AFL-CIO workers should form a union."
....or get a good trial lawyer and file a class-action lawsuit against the AFL-CIO.
Having been in situations where the pendulum has swung far too much to the empolyer side, I see that there is a need for unions, but at least the AFL-CIO just does not care about workers in the trenches, all they care about is pushing whatever fashionable program upper middle class againg hippies want to push, even if it is against the intrests of the workers inm the trenches. I know many Freepers bitterly disagree with the need for unions, but they exist(at least on paper) to support the workers and stand up for workers), but in reality as another poster said, today they are a organisation of elites who have views supporting abortion, opposing gun rights, supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants(a postion that ironically further rots the postion of private sector workers and any attempt to unionise there), but yet lacked the will to take so called pro worker Democrats to task when the the approvale for Chinas addmitence for the WTO was up in congress in the summer of 2000.
posted on 11/28/2003 2:54:20 PM PST
I really have empathy for the workers who have been laid off. However, this story has two sides. The AFL-CIO has made American labor (and subsequently American made products) very expensive. I read an article in USA Today comparing American auto salaries with foreign auto salaries. The Americans averaged $50 per hour. This is just too much for unskilled labor. Our only hope is to move American workers into high tech jobs but there are not enough Americans taking advantage of the opportunity. My son got a masters in math and confided in me that he was the only candidate in his group who had English as his first language.
posted on 11/28/2003 3:26:48 PM PST
The pension costs are one reason why US laor for auto making is so high, in terms of take home pay, the median pay is in the $25 hr range, good pay, but less than what Japanese and European auto workers make per hour, and no I am not saying $25 hr is bad at all, just saying the uS is not the only high cost labor market.
As for the US educational feild, that is another whole ball of wax in why so few American students take the science track at universities, though many universities seem to have a bias against American born citizens in their effort to become more "worldly", also the fees at many universties have gone up far more rapidly than inflation for at leats 20 years, pricing many students out of universities.
Also for the last 20 years, the percentage of Americans getting 4 years degrees has not gone up much, still at around 25%, and that reality is not going to change. Political reality states that if jobs for even skilled labor for people with 2 year or technical school degrees dry up, and the only good paying jobs are in feilds that require 4A+ year degrees, somthing will give down the road. The present situation with the employment picture and how the economy is currently being ran is not politically sustainable in the long run.
Lastly, and this was soley due to the Clinton admin, specifically Robert Rubin, the moronic strong dollar policy put in place in late 95, and ramped up during the Asian crisis in 97, in no small part designed to mask the impact of inflation(and help Clintons poll numbers), played a far larger role in pricing American products out of many markets. I remeber in 95, there were many news stories about the revived American industrial base, and 95 was the last year of the weak dollar policy.
posted on 11/28/2003 3:52:32 PM PST
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