So how’s being buddies with Obama working out, Dick?
It was an unexpected and blunt admission by one of the nation’s most powerful labor leaders: “We are in crisis, and we have to do things differently,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told USA Today last week.
Hmm, maybe getting in bed with the failed president has something to do with that, huh, Dick? Boy, it seems like only yesterday you clowns were flexing your muscles in Wisconsin. Then came colossal failure and a rejection by the public.
His candid assessment heralds a change in strategy for the one-time labor giant. It is now seeking to partner with other left-leaning organizations such as the NAACP and the Sierra Club to bolster its influence, and its lagging membership.
The idea would have been heretical in an earlier time when such partnerships meant solidarity under the union label and the obligation of union dues.
Under Trumka’s plan, there is no expectation that new AFL-CIO partners would join the federation.
“Hopefully, sometime,” Trumka told the paper. “First they’ll be partners at the local level. They’ll actually be in the structure of the local labor movement in some places but it will vary.” And as for paying union dues?
“Well, some may, some may not,” Trumka said.
If the strategy smacks of desperation, Cato Institute Senior fellow Chris Edwards says it should come as no surprise.
“Americans have rejected unionism,” Edwards says. “Particularly young people. If you look at the overall unionization rate, it’s seven percent but among young people, it’s just four percent which is remarkable.”