Sunday, September 09, 2007

Socialists Hate Andy! Boo-fn-hoo...

No More “Partnership” — Labor Needs to Organize a Fightback
By Tony Wilsdon
Socialist Alternative

As Corporate American continues to attack workers’ wages, working conditions, and benefits, the need for a fighting labor movement is more vital than ever.

Given the failure of the AFL-CIO’s leadership to successfully resist this corporate offensive, many union members’ hopes were raised when Andy Stern, leader of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), pulled his union out of the AFL-CIO promising a new direction for labor.

Stern and SEIU went on to found an alternative federation, Change to Win (CtW), that includes the Teamsters, Laborers, Carpenters, Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Farm Workers, and Hotel and Restaurant Workers (UNITE HERE) - about 6 million members in total. But two years after the creation of Change to Win, what has been achieved?

Stern focused his criticism of the AFL–CIO on the need to put more resources into hiring more organizers. SEIU has put more resources into organizing, and the UFCW and UNITE HERE have made splashy campaign efforts against Wal-Mart and the hotel chains. But no real progress has been made in unionizing new workers. The real issue is not more resources; it’s how to organize workers, and around what program.

Stern has been going out of his way to talk to Corporate America, including working with Wal-Mart. At a recent conference of corporate lawyers, he said: “SEIU’s goal for 2006 is to bring unions and employers together as partners, not enemies.”


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