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.