Card Check: Punishing Enemies, Maligning Your Friends

By September 3, 2009Labor Unions

Earlier this week, the soon-to-be president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, vowed retaliation against members of Congress who failed to adequately support labor’s cause, including passage of the anti-democratic Employee Free Choice Act. A labor movement that “punishes its enemies” was his term.

Now, Trumka is attacking the reputation of the left-wing standard bearer and labor ally, George McGovern.

From US News:

Ever since 1972 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern hit the Employee Free Choice Act, or card check, in an ad earlier this year, Big Labor has been fuming. This week, it let off some steam. In a breakfast media roundtable, the likely new president of the AFL-CIO struck back. Richard Trumka, who’s expected to be elected next week to replace outgoing boss John Sweeney, slammed McGovern as a foe of workers. “You know poor George got paid to do an ad. Now he ran as an antiwar candidate, and there have been three or four wars since he left the playing field that he had nothing to say about. And then he comes back on the playing field to make war against the workers. We found that very ironic,” Trumka said to some gasps in the room of reporters.

“Make war against the workers…” Really ugly rhetoric, especially when you consider McGovern’s heroism in a real war, WWII.

Leadership sets a tone for an entire organization, so you can imagine the message Trumka is sending to organizers approaching recalcitrant employees, reluctant to join a union.

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