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GREAT NEWS: AFL-CIO Facing Major Financial Woes
AP ^ | 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
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1 posted on 11/28/2003 1:12:55 PM PST by nwrep
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To: *Union Bosses; *Election President; *Communist Subversion
2 posted on 11/28/2003 1:14:12 PM PST by nwrep
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To: nwrep
What a shock.
The comrades are not so good at managing finances.
3 posted on 11/28/2003 1:15:29 PM PST by dyed_in_the_wool (Slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch...)
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To: nwrep

Oh, no. Not another WillieGreen post!
4 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!)
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To: nwrep
This sounds really stupid to me.I hope a lot of union menbers agree.
5 posted on 11/28/2003 1:18:23 PM PST by not-alone
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To: nwrep

Now, if only the Teachers Unions and George Soros would go bankrupt!! :)

6 posted on 11/28/2003 1:19:12 PM PST by Recovering_Democrat (I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: nwrep
Only union thugs could screw up a private business where it's income is extorted from selected members of society.
7 posted on 11/28/2003 1:22:52 PM PST by ClintonBeGone
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To: nwrep

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.
8 posted on 11/28/2003 1:23:37 PM PST by JNB
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To: not-alone

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.
9 posted on 11/28/2003 1:26:13 PM PST by JNB
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To: Jim Robinson
Oh the irony.
10 posted on 11/28/2003 1:29:36 PM PST by KDD
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To: nwrep
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...
11 posted on 11/28/2003 1:32:11 PM PST by Oldeconomybuyer (The democRATS are near the tipping point.)
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To: nwrep
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

12 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 .)
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To: nwrep
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.
13 posted on 11/28/2003 1:34:18 PM PST by Tacis
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To: nwrep
What's the average wage of an AFL-CIO member, about $50/hr?
14 posted on 11/28/2003 1:35:04 PM PST by witnesstothefall
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To: nwrep
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.


15 posted on 11/28/2003 1:37:47 PM PST by MinuteGal (Start saving your pesos for "FReeps Ahoy 3" in spring. Give each other a cruise for Christmas!)
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To: nwrep
Union Worker = Oxymoron
16 posted on 11/28/2003 1:40:36 PM PST by Capitalism2003 (Got principles?
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To: nwrep
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...

Semper Fi
17 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...)
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To: nwrep
The affected AFL-CIO workers should form a union.
18 posted on 11/28/2003 1:50:28 PM PST by Consort
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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.
19 posted on 11/28/2003 1:51:52 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

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.
20 posted on 11/28/2003 1:55:29 PM PST by JNB
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