Repressed Memory at the AFL-CIO

By March 7, 2005General

The Washington Post’s Tom Edsall continues to do a pretty good job of chonicling the turmoil inside the AFL-CIO, but he does sometimes give AFL President John Sweeney a free pass.

In today’s piece (largely a re-heat of his piece last week, see below, he notes Sweeney’s argument that “the only way to stem the collapse of unionization is to win back Democratic control of the Congress and the White House.”

Well, let’s see what happened during the Clinton Administration when, for a spell, Democrats controlled the White House, the Congress and labor had their hand-picked people on the NLRB. Hmmmm…. Their numbers declined every year.

Maybe Sweeney is having repressed (or selective) memory, but the fact remains that the only way out of his free fall in membership is what his putative challenger, John Wilhelm said last week, i.e., “We can’t change labor law until we organize a lot more people.” Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?