Got an e-mail yesterday from one of our union pals with a subject line that just said, “Drip…” and attaching an article by Josh Gerstein of the New York Sun entitled, “At Teamsters Conference, Dissidents Warn of Death of Labor Movement”.
This week, there is a Teamsters Conference in Las Vegas. Nothing newsworthy there. But what is newsworthy was the presence of SEIU President Andy Stern, HERE UNITE officials Bruce Raynor and John Wilhelm, and Laborers’ President Terence O’Sullivan, all of whom — together with Teamsters President Jim Hoffa — make up the “Gang of Five”, the core group of insurgents allied against AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.
As Gerstein reports, “In a series of salty and at times profane speeches to hundreds of Teamster officials and organizers from across the country”, the Fab 5 “Urgently called for sweeping reforms to the…AFL-CIO.” SEIU President Stern gave a PowerPoint presentation detailing labor’s retreat, saying, “This is not organized labor. This is disorganized labor.”
Hoffa swore to “fight at the [AFL-CIO] Convention in July for what’s right”, while putative Sweeney challenger John Wilhelm complained that the political program of the AFL-CIO “has become captured by the Democratic Party…” No wonder Hill Democrats are nervous. Could the inept Sweeney be replaced by a guy who actually cared about what was best for the members?!? Infidel!
The Teamsters put out a press release under the banner, “Teamsters Lead Reform Coalition to Strengthen Unions, Empower Workers”.
The storm’s a-brewin’. This is one thing that happened in Vegas that in all likelihood is not gonna stay in Vegas…
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