Thursday, July 28, 2005

Denver Post editorial on the AFL-CIO split

I am not one who has thought that the recent split of the Teamsters and the SEIU from the AFL-CIO was reason to panic. In fact I think it may ultimately be beneficial to the labor movement. Both groups have different goals and different methods and it will be better for the overall health of labor if they split now and pursue those goals.

This morning the Denver Post chimmed in here are the highlights,

"It's possible instead that the split will give labor leaders the jolt they need to update their movement to the benefit of working Americans seeking a secure place in the global economy."

Labor's last big breakup came in 1938, when member unions of the American Federation of Labor broke away to form the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The two federations competed and registered big gains before reuniting in 1955."

The union split will be mended sooner or later. In the meantime, both sides will be motivated to seek creative solutions to the challenges that beset the movement.

Labor leaders like to say they work for all workers, not just union members, and non-unionized workers shouldn't forget that organized labor has made enormous contributions in areas such as safer workplaces, eight-hour days and fair vacations and benefits. We hope the sudden split will lead the movement to modernize, lest it continue to wither."


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