Monday, July 25, 2005

Sources: Teamsters, SEIU to Bolt AFL-CIO

CHICAGO - Organized labor is at war with itself as the Teamsters and a major service employees' union decide to bolt from the AFL-CIO, paving the way for two other groups to sever ties in the labor movement's biggest rift since the 1930s.

I think this will be a great thing because the AFL-CIO is as Walter Reuther once said a guardians of the status quo. They're hasn't been much real success in union growth since the CIO rejoined the AFL and created this sleepy monopoly.

The SEIU has been very active and has made several gains in membership and activism and they feel the AFL-CIO's policies are holding them back. I think competition in unionism will benefit all workers. Besides, the AFL has never been much of a leader for progress in workers' rights. I liked the more radical approach that the CIO and the Internatial Workers of the World took in the earlier part of the 20th century.

The CIO was greatly successful in the 1930s before its eventual merger with the AFL, but this rivalry led the short-sighted AFL to help draft what would later become the Taft-Hartley act.

The International Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) were another 20th century success for workers' rights. Well, until they spoke out against WW1 and the government used that as a pretext to sweep in and raid every single one of their offices, shut them down and imprison their leaders.

Keep on rockin' in the free world.

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