Skip to comments.Not one 'union label' anymore as public, private sector unions diverge
Posted on 04/15/2012 3:31:03 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
Growing tension between President Obama and unions, and rifts within unions, create opportunity for Republicans to attract disaffected workers interested in economy, jobs, and growth. Could the disharmony and dissatisfaction create a Reagan moment for the GOP?
All is not placid in Camp Obama. For more than a century, Democratic Party power has been based on private-sector unions and their workersvoters who actually produce such things as cars and steel. But in recent years that political power also has been strengthened by the rise of government-worker unions and environmental groups, which are less about productivity and more about spending and policy. Tension between the two kinds of union factions was inevitable, and now is coming to the fore in President Obamas re-election bid.
The latest rift is between the president and the United Mine Workers union, part of the AFL-CIO. UMW solidarity for the president is essential for him to win in such battleground states as West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The UMW isnt happy that Obama administration environmentalists are taking aim at the coal industry.
UMW President Cecil Roberts recently was interviewed on the West Virginia Metro News Talkline radio show. Referring to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, a radical anti-coal environmentalist, Roberts said, The Navy SEALs shot Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington.
Ouch. He added, Coal is the fastest growing energy source in the world and theyve decided, at the, well, were going to control what goes into the atmosphere worldwide by halting the construction of coal-fired facilities in the United States . [I]t is just devastating for our economy.
The George Soros-funded Think Progress blog called Roberts charge preposterous. As Cliff Kincaid, director of Accuracy in Media watchdog group, noted in GOPUSA, the Obama-connected Think Progress exists to punish anyoneeven Democratswho speak ill of the president or his policies.
The UMW flap is not an isolated event. In January, the AFL-CIO got into a skirmish with the administration when the president rejected the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would have brought Canadian oil to the Gulf of Mexico and created up to 20,000 jobs. While not directly criticizing Obama, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, The AFL-CIO has not taken a position on the Keystone pipelineunions dont agree among ourselves. He added, We cannot have a trust-building conversation about it unless opponents of the pipeline recognize that construction jobs are real jobsgood jobsand supporters of the pipeline recognize that tar sands oil raises real issues in terms of climate change.
In addition to the UMW, the AFLs member unions include the American Federation of Government Employees. More regulation and power for the government is coming to mean more members and power for the AFGEbut fewer jobs for the private sector, including members of the UMW.
Other unions are seeing a direct division between the union bosses, whose rhetoric supports Obama, and their rank and file members, who are on the front lines of a weak job market. Theres an intramural tension between environmentalists and Big Labor, Will Collins told us, the deputy legal information director for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. He said that the leadership of the United Auto Workers, the United Steelworkers, the Service Employees International Union and other unions have endorsed the administrations position on the environment and jobs. He pointed to a 2010 poll for National Right to Work by longtime pollster Frank Luntz which found a chasm between the workers and the union bosses. Funding by unions for left-wing Democratic candidates in the mid-term elections that year was opposed by 60 percent of workers.
This is one more example of that gulf between the politicized union hierarchy and the union members, Collins said of the division over environmentalists killing good jobs.
Three decades ago, a similar division led the Reagan Democratsworking union membersto help give the Gipper two landslide victories against jobs-killing Democratic opponents. If Republicans are savvy enough to understand the opportunity and make the effort to attract union workers again in 2012, it is they who will be singing the Democrats old standby, Happy Days Are Here Again.
Damn freakin’ straight. I’ve said here for years that the Dems have sold the private sector unions down the river and conspired with union bosses and enviro groups to focus on their new union growth industry - govt workers.
Finally some of these guys hopefully are starting to wake up.
The Unions are greedy and die of free will.
What ever happened to the coal miners union? We never hear anything about the mines being shut down and those union jobs (thousands of them) eliminated.
Need to get those original “rednecks” to go agains’t Obama too.
guess I was still asleep when I read the article.......Disregard my previous posting.
Sorry but I am up pretty early due to major storm rolling through......
Wisconsin Public and Private Secotr Union Interests Diverge ping
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
Although this article is “national” in scope, rather than regional (Wisconsin is not mentioned directly), it is related to the defeat of the Mining Bill that enraged Lyle balistreri to seek recall against Bob Jauch, Democrat.
I don’t know where you are, but we have our eye on the storm too. We may catch the edge of it, but I’m up early too. Stay safe.
I grew up in a family that despised unions.
I was only in my teens, but remember the story of my uncle that had a plastics molding factory on Long Island.
Union thugs in their shark-skin suits started picketing his plant.
My uncle was a small guy, but tough.
He went out to the picketers and garbed ones hand.
Looking at his palm, he shouted something to the effect of
“you G** D*** Son of a B****, you never worked a G** D*** Day in you life. Get the H*** of of my property before I beat the H*** out of you.
Union bosses are greedy, as are the very oldest members still delusional and living in the glory days.
Younger guys with families - not so much. There are opportunities to be had here.
There was`a time when the Union Worker and the Gov’t worker met parity. Clue #1
So, because Obama pissed them off they are offering themselves for sale to the Republicans?
or... did I get that wrong?
Let the Dems keep all the unions and their votes. They are part of the problem, not the solution.
Yep - typical left-wing desire for being given more than they're worth, for the least amount of effort on behalf of their employer. Like the Dim Party, they also tend to cause devastating damage to the teat that feeds them.
I wonder if there are a still enough UMWA members to matter?
Private sector unions are on the wane. The focus now is to pander to government unions by promising more and bigger government and grow the ranks of those unions to offset the shortfall in the public sector ones.
The new wedge is between government unions and taxpayers. That came to a head in WI and is heading there in other states, large and small. It's closer to home in the states.
At the federal level, where they can print money, it will take longer but it will eventually come to a head there as well.
Remember, unions come in two flavors ~ "leaders" and "members". Virtually all the "leaders" are part of the Democrat apparatus. Few of the "members" are.
I do believe the discussion is about capturing more than our usual share of "members".
It would be exciting except GOP outreach stinks.
Considering the way the GOP primaries have been playing out, there seems little difference between;
"Shut up and vote the way the union tells you."
"Shut up and vote the way the GOP tells you."
It’s about time the rank and file woke up to how their union bosses were screwing them.
Look how Rick Santorum got beat up for openly reaching out to unions. Romney did the same but had people going door to door in the Detroit area seeking the most liberal of the union crowd.
This article is an exercise in wishful thinking. Yes, the coal miners are being sacrificed; but Obama thinks of the unions as a semi-private communistic army. His favorite unions are the government ones—SEIU, teachers’ unions, and the like.
Although a few workers in disfavored, non-green industries will be ignored, by and large unions are getting extremely favorable treatment from Obama’s Executive Branch.
On reflection, it seems to me that the union members getting the shaft might be precisely the ones that are in industries where some union protection might be justifiable. Ironic, huh?
Its not so much a matter of waking up as it is a matter of being powerless. Here in Michigan we’re a forced union state (for now) and a working life can be destroyed for stirring problems with the union.
I was gung ho for my first union job but that only lasted a couple of months when I recognized that they create laziness and crush creativity in all but the strongest members.
I raised all kinds of hell in my last union job and the union was powerless to stop me because I was elected steward and had a company offer hanging out there. It agitated the hell out of some that I called union dues “Union tax” and openly opposed paycheck deductions.
I was a union member for 31 years and have never voted for a democrat. I knew plenty of other union members that voted republican too.
I regret that I will be unable to vote for the republican for president this time, if it’s Milt Romney.
As regular as robins in spring, UAW organizers would show up trying to organize our production and maintenance employees. Every year our employees voted against the UAW in the heart of union country because we caused them to believe that job security comes ONLY from a profitable employer and that, in the computer business, the selling price of our products continually goes DOWN, not UP as in the automobile business.
Well, that was over 40 years ago. Finally after off-shoring most of our manufacturing, people are finally coming to the realization that increasing productivity, competitiveness and a profitable employer are key elements to finding and holding a job. That's why most of the private sector jobs are located in right-to-work or union free environments.
You had some stones, as a union steward, calling union dues a tax and opposing check-off.
My experiences match your description.
If you travel in similar circles to union tradesmen you’ll see familiar symbolism - the American flag for example. But during GW’s two terms the dhimmicrats eschewed such outward displays of patriotism because they felt that it was be an endorsement of GW. This caused a natural contradiction with the rank & file who were (up to that point) as patriotic as the rest of us.
I’ve worked in a mixed environment where there was a union contingent. I had many discussions with tradesmen regarding their “marching orders” to vote in “union solidarity” (and on more than one occasion remarked on how similar their jargon was to communism). Almost without exception they bristled at the suggestion that they had no will of their own, but very few could articulate a defense for why they were voting for the lefty union choice.
I must say that I rather enjoyed these little forays into FUDmucking ;-)
Furthermore, I’ve noticed a lot more breaking of the ranks with regards to Øbozo. They see him for who and what he is and they;re repelled by him. The contrast between personal values and the imposed union agenda has never been more stark.
And who knows? With a moderate like mittens as an alternative they may secretly cross over and abandon the dhimmicrats this time around.
There's nothing moderate about the left. They're all quite sociopathic.
It is not the individual worker that is greedy but if you want to work in a trade and live in certain states, you have no choice.
Many union workers are good people, and keep quite about how they vote because while they think conservative they can't say it out loud because of the goons.
I'm not pro-union, but my dad was a USW for over 40 years and was a good guy who knew that the union was corrupt but never verbally got into politics.
When anyone asked him how he voted, he said that's why it's called a secret ballot.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
-- Benito Mussolini.
Corporatism = Collectivism = Communism
Are we there yet?
In West Virginia and Pennsylvania yes. For different unions, the same can be true in other parts of the old industrial “rustbelt.”
If the goal is to get to 50 percent, exploiting divisions between environmentalists and industrial labor is a good thing.