The Week Ahead: The AFL-CIO Throws in the Towel

By August 28, 2006Labor Unions

We’ve often said in this space that the AFL-CIO long ago ceased being a labor movement and is now only a political movement — and a pretty unsuccessful one at that, pouring hundreds of millions of their members’ dollars down a political rat hole supporting candidates and causes with which so many of their members disagree.

But no matter, every Labor Day, they would issue a report –a grim report, but a report nonetheless — about how poorly the economy was doing. It became gallows humor around the water cooler for us to guess the grim title of their next report, but at least they did one, they gamely showed that after all they were still the labor movement, still cared about things like Labor Day.

No more.

This year, they have abandoned any pretext of being a labor movement. They will commemorate Labor Day with a press conference outlining their plans to flush an additional $40 million of their members’ money down the same rathole. Once they’re done with that, they say The Incredible Shrinking John Sweeney “will also outline union movement advances.” That likely won’t take very long, as he’s presided over a pretty steady decline in membership and capped it all off by splitting the organization in two.

It’s sad that Labor Day 2006 will be known as the year that labor threw in the towel.