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February 27, 2005

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the labor movement has BIG problems.Many of them are of their own making.Check out whats happening in my state here;

http://www.nhregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14005853&BRD=1281&PAG=461&dept_id=517515&rfi=8

This is a one man show but this guy was the president of the police union in my home town a few years ago and had both his knees destroyed by a Rambo type guy assisting a state trooper who put out a code 100(officer down).His lack of support from the upper crust of the police union inspired him to start this effort which is catching fire.He offers a compelling story and the services of a lawyer(not a sotnosed union rep)when contract negotiation time comes.

Great summary of the history of the "organizations of organized labor." Understanding the various unions as products of merged unions requires some of the same skills of a geneologist, and is sometimes as hard to remember as who holds what title as recognized by which boxing federation. [Quick, who can name the current union that traces its lineage back to the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and how many mergers ago was that?] For a thumbnail, this was particularly good.

BTW, glad you mentioned Greenhouse, who really is an exception to the general rule that there are almost no good labor reporters these days. Another one I'd include, though he doesn't write for a daily and covers plenty of other topics, is The American Prospect's Harold Meyerson.

Oh, and tomorrow I'll be posting a piece here and at Daily Kos on an interview I did with Andy Stern a few weeks back.

Trapper, I'm what you might call union illiterate, so help me out a little here.
Is out of country organizing centralized in the AFL-CIO, or left up to the individual unions? How would reducing the "tax" the federation receives affect these endeavors? I think the most important contribution the labor union movement could make to the 21st century is to extend unionization to Asia and Africa, where conditions are virtual slavery. This affects American jobs in ever increasing ways with "globalization" (Corporate Feudalism) now in full swing. Inquiring minds want to know...

I look foward to reading your interview with Andy Stern.I met him while promoting Dean at the Yale workers strike in 03 and he took the time to introduce himself and thank us for the support we showed those workers and for educating them on the Doctors views.Those were heady days.

ctkeith -- thanks for the link. I really can't say I know that much about police unions, but I'll keep my eye on this development.

Gryphon -- great question. The history of American labor's overseas efforts is complicated. Long story short -- the AFL-CIO used to take a far greater interest in foreign labor movements, but it did so at least partially at the behest of the CIA, and its credibility abroad is therefore somewhat compromised. Individual unions have always worked with their sibling unions in other nations, both for their benefit and for ours. With the advent of the multinational corporation, it's imperative to devise global labor strategies with fellow unionists across the world. But I question whether American unions should be taking a leadership role in such activities, as opposed to a more collaborative role.

I have to disagree with ctkeith - labor's problems aren't all of their own making. The debate among labor historians as to the point of no return, when the labor movement was doomed, is an ongoing one - many point to 1947 and Taft-Hartley and the failures of the postwar strike wave, others to the failure of the big unions to respond to reform pressures from the rank and file in the '60s and '70s, and others to the movement's inability to respond effectively to the crisis of the late '70s. For my money the die was cast in the late '40s, as labor was limited to only certain sectors of the economy and even there had its power limited significantly.

All of which makes the debate over AFL-CIO reform a bit curious. Part of me wants to agree with the Machinists that our problems are the making of a conservative political climate. But I'm also sympathetic to SEIU's points. Even if that union has a tendency to bite off more than it can chew, I respect their willingness to advance newer ideas and solutions.

Eugene,

I didn't say all, I said many.I was in local 210 of the carpenters union for a few yrs and an AFSCME member for over 15 yrs.Smaller locals are being ignored and their members feel their dues are getting them nothing.My buisness agent made sure he talked to me and every one of the other members at least once every couple of months in local 210 carpenters(this was in the early 80s)but AFSCME reps almost never showed up and never talked one on one in my shop.The only time they did was when I made a complaint that Elections weren't held in 5 yrs in our local when the charter said they were required every three yrs.Grass roots work is the backbone of strong unions and my BA new every members name,his wifes name,how many kids he had and what he drank when I was in 210.If the labor movement wants to regain some of its luster it has to get back to that kind of representation.One more thing.EVERY BA in local 210 worked "with the tools" before he became a BA.


I just wanted to say congrats on the new site! I really enjoyed the posts at dkos as irregulars, I will be stopping in often.

-Wells

RE: AFL-CIO link--There's a hilarious scene in the film Barcelona, where the Spanish party girl played by Mira Sorvino insists the bad American union is called the AFL-CIA. "They are very fascha!"

[BTW, I noticed that every one of Whit Stillmans's films--Metropolitan, Barcelona and the Last Days of Disco--had some relatively obscure labor reference. I later found out that his dad was some bigtime labor lawyer in New York and DC.]

Thanks for posting this. Labor's so important, especially to the Democratic party, but so there are so many misconceptions about it.

In fact, I'm embarassed to admit this, but I don't really know much about what organized labor does on a day-to-day basis. I mean I generally know that local unions negotiate contracts that ensure workers are treated fairly, but what role do national organizations like SEIU play? There don't seem to be many national solidarity strikes or the like these days (at least that's my perception). You mentioned the AFL-CIO conducting political activites, presumably at the federal level. But how much influence does it have in Washington these days? I mean with the Republicans hostile, and the DLC ambivalent, it seems like Labor doesn't have many politicians that it can still work with.

Also, you mentioned collaborations between various international unions. I haven't really heard much about this at all. Can you point me to some examples of this kind of cooperation? To me this is one of the most pressing issues in modern politics, and I'm ashamed to know so little about it.

ctkeith, I think, makes a great point about the importance of having good BAs working for the members. People pay dues, and in return they want representation from people who know them, know their bosses, and who are responsive. One place I disagree with some of the SEIU folks is on the idea that we need to move away from "business unionism" -- which has a strong representation component -- hire more organizers instead of BAs, and let the members represent themselves. Members want to be able to call up their local and get someone who can help them with their problems. They also understand the importance of organizing, but it's hard to tell a member that their representation is going to suffer because of organizing.

My feeling is that BAs should also be responsible for organizing. But that might work better in my field, the building trades, than in other sectors.

Trapper, the business agents jobs are to make sure the people already in the union are getting good representation, nothing hurts the unions more then when the members are not happy. When it comes down to striking or at the least voting on a strike authorization during contract negotiations the businees reps better have been doing their jobs and reaching out to it's members or they're going to be negotiating from a weak position, because the union members don't like them or don't know them.

Organizing should be a seperate thing, and I like Stern's way of doing it. Organizing across a whole industry within in a state is a good idea, and organizing across a whole industry nationwide is a good goal.

The other thing I see that needs to be addressed is Labor's PR problem. Organizing and representing their members are both very important, but the general public either lacks knowledge about unions or they have been skewed from the negative press unions have recieved over the last 30 years. The AFL CIO could be the leader in this department.

I've been lucky to work jobs that were unionized and was lucky to be represented by a great local that valued it's members and was involved with it's members. When we voted for a strike authorization during our last contract negotiations we authorized it with overwhelming support, and the company knew we were serious, and settled the contract rather quickly.

I'd love to see the unions make some headway, because big business has been kicking our butts for years, and it's about time we figured out a plan of action and got working.

Dear Trapper John,

I am really glad you are bringing this discussion to DailyKos. It has been a really interesting debate over there. But I wanted to add a few things. I think you know all of this and you seem to like the Teamster proposal, but I don't think that possibility would exist if Stern and the NUP had not pushed this debate. And Stern is one of the few labor leaders that can say that his union is an example of a union that can fight and grow effectively in the current climate.

Also, the debate about the future of the labor movement is really not about forced mergers. That is only one of many proposals that were put forth by Stern and the New Unity Partnership to address a debate that is going on between workers and union leaders all over the country right now about how to have the power to defeat multinational corporations. I was just doing a presentation on these issues to a group of low wage, mostly immigrant hotel, casino, and laundry workers in Los Angeles. I am always excited by how much even the lowest paid, least educated, least politically involved union member often understands about this question. You see, these workers don’t just want more wages and benefits, they want POWER. They want the power to be able to fight the massive multinational corporations they work for and they want to win that fight.

This debate is born from the fact that in the early 1970’s, the major companies that control our economy (and most of our politics) ceased to be national and became multinational conglomerates. It used to be that the owner of a hotel or a laundry was a person or family that lived in your community or in some other city in the US. If you were unhappy at work, you organized with 200 coworkers at your plant (or in some cases a few thousand workers all over one city), voted to have a union, tried to negotiate with your boss, and if you couldn’t get relief, these 200 or 2000 workers struck against their owner or caused some other ruckus that would pressure him to change.

Those days ended in the 70’s and 80’s. With the help of the Nixon and Reagan administrations, the major companies that run our economy became massive multinational conglomerates (and in many cases monopolies). In most cases the owner of your company does not live in your community, the owner is not even a person. It is a board of directors accountable to major shareholders who do not necessarily live in the US and who have business dealings in many industries all over the world. You have no vote with them and they are not accountable to any community where they do business. It is very difficult even for the national governments of any particular country to regulate these conglomerates.

We all know this, but few people outside of unions think about the impact of this massive shift on workers or farmers around the world organizing to pressure their boss for justice. If you are two hundred workers at one plant or two thousand workers in one city or even twenty thousand workers organized around one state, it is VERY VERY hard to make your company listen, no matter how loud you are or how long you strike. The boards of most multinational companies have made the decision that they will spend whatever money neccessary to keep their employees from organizing and they hire professional union-busters (and in many countries death squads) to stop organizing drives. And what are you going to do about it? When the supermarkets in Southern California wanted to cut their employees’ health insurance, the valiant workers in more than ten cities in So Cal struck for months and did millions of dollars of damage to the major supermarket chains. But what does that mean to a company that makes billions every year? Very little. They can eat the cost of breaking your union just to make an example out of you for everyone else. And it is worse in other countries. I met farmers in El Salvador who were organizing against a multinational energy conglomerate who BOUGHT THEIR TOWN’S RIVER! (I still don’t understand how you can buy a river but they did it.) And there is almost nothing a single town anywhere on earth, or even a country like El Salvador (whose national GDP is less than the yearly profits of that conglomerate) can do to stop it.

So how can a group of workers (or any of us) organize against multinational corporations and have the power to do enough damage to make them listen? I believe that question is one of the great creative questions of our generation. The internet has allowed us to network and pressure companies with a speed effectiveness that has surprised me at times. I never thought that we could make Sinclair back off of their anti-Kerry broadcast, but we really freaked them out. But while these consumer-based strategies have made these companies change particular policies, they have only in a few cases forced a multinational company to allow it’s employees to organize or to provide family health insurance throughout the company.

However, one of the most exciting things to me is that a few unions have invented a strategy that seems to work. A few unions have organized by painstakingly organizing non-union workers in the same industry in multiple cities around the country at the same time. Then they launch a coordinated assault on that company from every one of these cities. They make the central demand of their campaign to be not just wages and benefits, but for the right of EVERY employee of that company around the country to have the right to join one big union in that industry. One of the first successful attempts to do this was SEIU’s work against the Catholic Health Care West and Tennt hospitals. Between these two campaigns, SEIU won the right to organize for 40,000 employees in one fell swoop. Now several unions are following that example by trying national campaigns to organize tens of thousands of workers at a time in coordinated drives. And soon we hope to turn these drives into coordinated multinational assaults between several national labor movements against the same company.

These ideas have been thrown around since the IWW and the CIO, but how to use them in practice against the big boys is a whole other matter. The problem is that the structure of the current labor movement is not designed to run a national or international organizing campaign. In order to do this workers have to be part of an effective national organization that can coordinate between cities. Even more difficult is that this national organization has to provide accountability between workers in the different cities so that when one group of workers is tempted to sell out the others to get ahead, they have to face their brothers and sisters in that same industry.

Unfortunately, most of our current unions, if they organize at all, organize shop by shop with no or minimal coordination. They look around for whatever group of workers is angry at any one moment and easiest to get into their union and jump on it. It’s called “hot shop” organizing. So workers in one industry might be organized by ten different uncoordinated unions. The result is that once you are in the union you have no power in your negotiations with the company. That’s why only half of the workers who even succeed in the grueling process of voting for a union ever see a union contract. (That means that at best only a quarter of all workers who ever try to organize succeed, and I believe the number is much lower.)

Even worse is that once you start to run an effective national campaign against a company and the company gets scared, it can just invite in another weaker union that will sell out the workers for much less. If the company gives its preferred union access to its employees and pushes the employees to join it, you get a company dominated union and easy dues for a weaker, desperate union. And by this strategy the companies divide and conquer the labor movement. And the rules against this kind of raiding in the AFL-CIO are very weak.

That’s why Andy Stern and the New Unity Partnership proposed reforms for the labor movement. Those reforms have included measures to focus unions on industry rather than hot-shop strategies, proposals to stop raiding and selling out other unions to get more members, and ideas for creating effective national organizations. And thank god they made these waves because no matter what you think about the particular proposals, they generated a healthy debate about how to change to coordinate these national organizing drives. It is not about becoming more like corporations, it is about developing an effective counter-structure that gives workers real power. Some union leaders are committed to the old way even though it is dying. In the short run it is always easier for a union to organize the hottest shops in different industries, but this strategy is not bulding our power against the multinationals.

And the best part about this national industry strategy is that workers get it! It is so inspiring to be in a room of laundry and hotel and casino workers from ten different countries who are debating these issues. Workers know that their companies are massive and growing and they understand that they will only have power if they coordinate between cities and countries. When I asked for volunteers of workers that were willing to go to other cities to organize their coworkers, almost every hand went up. In San Francisco, hotel workers went on strike and were locked out for months just to win the right to negotiate their contract with the multinational hotel chains together with their brothers and sisters in other cities around the country at one table. Conglomerates like Cintas laundry and whole industries like security guard services are facing a whole new labor movement with workers who understand and are invested in national and multinational power. And that is why the debate at the AFL-CIO is so important.

Dear Trapper John,

I am really glad you are bringing this discussion to DailyKos. It has been a really interesting debate over there. But I wanted to add a few things. I think you know all of this and you seem to like the Teamster proposal, but I don't think that possibility would exist if Stern and the NUP had not pushed this debate. And Stern is one of the few labor leaders that can say that his union is an example of a union that can fight and grow effectively in the current climate.

Also, the debate about the future of the labor movement is really not about forced mergers. That is only one of many proposals that were put forth by Stern and the New Unity Partnership to address a debate that is going on between workers and union leaders all over the country right now about how to have the power to defeat multinational corporations. I was just doing a presentation on these issues to a group of low wage, mostly immigrant hotel, casino, and laundry workers in Los Angeles. I am always excited by how much even the lowest paid, least educated, least politically involved union member often understands about this question. You see, these workers don’t just want more wages and benefits, they want POWER. They want the power to be able to fight the massive multinational corporations they work for and they want to win that fight.

This debate is born from the fact that in the early 1970’s, the major companies that control our economy (and most of our politics) ceased to be national and became multinational conglomerates. It used to be that the owner of a hotel or a laundry was a person or family that lived in your community or in some other city in the US. If you were unhappy at work, you organized with 200 coworkers at your plant (or in some cases a few thousand workers all over one city), voted to have a union, tried to negotiate with your boss, and if you couldn’t get relief, these 200 or 2000 workers struck against their owner or caused some other ruckus that would pressure him to change.

Those days ended in the 70’s and 80’s. With the help of the Nixon and Reagan administrations, the major companies that run our economy became massive multinational conglomerates (and in many cases monopolies). In most cases the owner of your company does not live in your community, the owner is not even a person. It is a board of directors accountable to major shareholders who do not necessarily live in the US and who have business dealings in many industries all over the world. You have no vote with them and they are not accountable to any community where they do business. It is very difficult even for the national governments of any particular country to regulate these conglomerates.

We all know this, but few people outside of unions think about the impact of this massive shift on workers or farmers around the world organizing to pressure their boss for justice. If you are two hundred workers at one plant or two thousand workers in one city or even twenty thousand workers organized around one state, it is VERY VERY hard to make your company listen, no matter how loud you are or how long you strike. The boards of most multinational companies have made the decision that they will spend whatever money neccessary to keep their employees from organizing and they hire professional union-busters (and in many countries death squads) to stop organizing drives. And what are you going to do about it? When the supermarkets in Southern California wanted to cut their employees’ health insurance, the valiant workers in more than ten cities in So Cal struck for months and did millions of dollars of damage to the major supermarket chains. But what does that mean to a company that makes billions every year? Very little. They can eat the cost of breaking your union just to make an example out of you for everyone else. And it is worse in other countries. I met farmers in El Salvador who were organizing against a multinational energy conglomerate who BOUGHT THEIR TOWN’S RIVER! (I still don’t understand how you can buy a river but they did it.) And there is almost nothing a single town anywhere on earth, or even a country like El Salvador (whose national GDP is less than the yearly profits of that conglomerate) can do to stop it.

So how can a group of workers (or any of us) organize against multinational corporations and have the power to do enough damage to make them listen? I believe that question is one of the great creative questions of our generation. The internet has allowed us to network and pressure companies with a speed effectiveness that has surprised me at times. I never thought that we could make Sinclair back off of their anti-Kerry broadcast, but we really freaked them out. But while these consumer-based strategies have made these companies change particular policies, they have only in a few cases forced a multinational company to allow it’s employees to organize or to provide family health insurance throughout the company.

However, one of the most exciting things to me is that a few unions have invented a strategy that seems to work. A few unions have organized by painstakingly organizing non-union workers in the same industry in multiple cities around the country at the same time. Then they launch a coordinated assault on that company from every one of these cities. They make the central demand of their campaign to be not just wages and benefits, but for the right of EVERY employee of that company around the country to have the right to join one big union in that industry. One of the first successful attempts to do this was SEIU’s work against the Catholic Health Care West and Tennt hospitals. Between these two campaigns, SEIU won the right to organize for 40,000 employees in one fell swoop. Now several unions are following that example by trying national campaigns to organize tens of thousands of workers at a time in coordinated drives. And soon we hope to turn these drives into coordinated multinational assaults between several national labor movements against the same company.

These ideas have been thrown around since the IWW and the CIO, but how to use them in practice against the big boys is a whole other matter. The problem is that the structure of the current labor movement is not designed to run a national or international organizing campaign. In order to do this workers have to be part of an effective national organization that can coordinate between cities. Even more difficult is that this national organization has to provide accountability between workers in the different cities so that when one group of workers is tempted to sell out the others to get ahead, they have to face their brothers and sisters in that same industry.

Unfortunately, most of our current unions, if they organize at all, organize shop by shop with no or minimal coordination. They look around for whatever group of workers is angry at any one moment and easiest to get into their union and jump on it. It’s called “hot shop” organizing. So workers in one industry might be organized by ten different uncoordinated unions. The result is that once you are in the union you have no power in your negotiations with the company. That’s why only half of the workers who even succeed in the grueling process of voting for a union ever see a union contract. (That means that at best only a quarter of all workers who ever try to organize succeed, and I believe the number is much lower.)

Even worse is that once you start to run an effective national campaign against a company and the company gets scared, it can just invite in another weaker union that will sell out the workers for much less. If the company gives its preferred union access to it

Dear Trapper John,

I am really glad you are bringing this discussion to DailyKos. It has been a really interesting debate over there. But I wanted to add a few things. I think you know all of this and you seem to like the Teamster proposal, but I don't think that possibility would exist if Stern and the NUP had not pushed this debate. And Stern is one of the few labor leaders that can say that his union is an example of a union that can fight and grow effectively in the current climate.

Also, the debate about the future of the labor movement is really not about forced mergers. That is only one of many proposals that were put forth by Stern and the New Unity Partnership to address a debate that is going on between workers and union leaders all over the country right now about how to have the power to defeat multinational corporations. I was just doing a presentation on these issues to a group of low wage, mostly immigrant hotel, casino, and laundry workers in Los Angeles. I am always excited by how much even the lowest paid, least educated, least politically involved union member often understands about this question. You see, these workers don’t just want more wages and benefits, they want POWER. They want the power to be able to fight the massive multinational corporations they work for and they want to win that fight.

This debate is born from the fact that in the early 1970’s, the major companies that control our economy (and most of our politics) ceased to be national and became multinational conglomerates. It used to be that the owner of a hotel or a laundry was a person or family that lived in your community or in some other city in the US. If you were unhappy at work, you organized with 200 coworkers at your plant (or in some cases a few thousand workers all over one city), voted to have a union, tried to negotiate with your boss, and if you couldn’t get relief, these 200 or 2000 workers struck against their owner or caused some other ruckus that would pressure him to change.

Those days ended in the 70’s and 80’s. With the help of the Nixon and Reagan administrations, the major companies that run our economy became massive multinational conglomerates (and in many cases monopolies). In most cases the owner of your company does not live in your community, the owner is not even a person. It is a board of directors accountable to major shareholders who do not necessarily live in the US and who have business dealings in many industries all over the world. You have no vote with them and they are not accountable to any community where they do business. It is very difficult even for the national governments of any particular country to regulate these conglomerates.

We all know this, but few people outside of unions think about the impact of this massive shift on workers or farmers around the world organizing to pressure their boss for justice. If you are two hundred workers at one plant or two thousand workers in one city or even twenty thousand workers organized around one state, it is VERY VERY hard to make your company listen, no matter how loud you are or how long you strike. The boards of most multinational companies have made the decision that they will spend whatever money neccessary to keep their employees from organizing and they hire professional union-busters (and in many countries death squads) to stop organizing drives. And what are you going to do about it? When the supermarkets in Southern California wanted to cut their employees’ health insurance, the valiant workers in more than ten cities in So Cal struck for months and did millions of dollars of damage to the major supermarket chains. But what does that mean to a company that makes billions every year? Very little. They can eat the cost of breaking your union just to make an example out of you for everyone else. And it is worse in other countries. I met farmers in El Salvador who were organizing against a multinational energy conglomerate who BOUGHT THEIR TOWN’S RIVER! (I still don’t understand how you can buy a river but they did it.) And there is almost nothing a single town anywhere on earth, or even a country like El Salvador (whose national GDP is less than the yearly profits of that conglomerate) can do to stop it.

So how can a group of workers (or any of us) organize against multinational corporations and have the power to do enough damage to make them listen? I believe that question is one of the great creative questions of our generation. The internet has allowed us to network and pressure companies with a speed effectiveness that has surprised me at times. I never thought that we could make Sinclair back off of their anti-Kerry broadcast, but we really freaked them out. But while these consumer-based strategies have made these companies change particular policies, they have only in a few cases forced a multinational company to allow it’s employees to organize or to provide family health insurance throughout the company.

However, one of the most exciting things to me is that a few unions have invented a strategy that seems to work. A few unions have organized by painstakingly organizing non-union workers in the same industry in multiple cities around the country at the same time. Then they launch a coordinated assault on that company from every one of these cities. They make the central demand of their campaign to be not just wages and benefits, but for the right of EVERY employee of that company around the country to have the right to join one big union in that industry. One of the first successful attempts to do this was SEIU’s work against the Catholic Health Care West and Tennt hospitals. Between these two campaigns, SEIU won the right to organize for 40,000 employees in one fell swoop. Now several unions are following that example by trying national campaigns to organize tens of thousands of workers at a time in coordinated drives. And soon we hope to turn these drives into coordinated multinational assaults between several national labor movements against the same company.

These ideas have been thrown around since the IWW and the CIO, but how to use them in practice against the big boys is a whole other matter. The problem is that the structure of the current labor movement is not designed to run a national or international organizing campaign. In order to do this workers have to be part of an effective national organization that can coordinate between cities. Even more difficult is that this national organization has to provide accountability between workers in the different cities so that when one group of workers is tempted to sell out the others to get ahead, they have to face their brothers and sisters in that same industry.

Unfortunately, most of our current unions, if they organize at all, organize shop by shop with no or minimal coordination. They look around for whatever group of workers is angry at any one moment and easiest to get into their union and jump on it. It’s called “hot shop” organizing. So workers in one industry might be organized by ten different uncoordinated unions. The result is that once you are in the union you have no power in your negotiations with the company. That’s why only half of the workers who even succeed in the grueling process of voting for a union ever see a union contract. (That means that at best only a quarter of all workers who ever try to organize succeed, and I believe the number is much lower.)

Even worse is that once you start to run an effective national campaign against a company and the company gets scared, it can just invite in another weaker union that will sell out the workers for much less. If the company gives its preferred union access to its employees and pushes the employees to join it, you get a company dominated union and easy dues for a weaker, desperate union. And by this strategy the companies divide and conquer the labor movement. And the rules against this kind of raiding in the AFL-CIO are very weak.

That’s why Andy Stern and the New Unity Partnership proposed reforms for the labor movement. Those reforms have included measures to focus unions on industry rather than hot-shop strategies, proposals to stop raiding and selling out other unions to get more members, and ideas for creating effective national organizations. And thank god they made these waves because no matter what you think about the particular proposals, they generated a healthy debate about how to change to coordinate these national organizing drives. It is not about becoming more like corporations, it is about developing an effective counter-structure that gives workers real power. Some union leaders are committed to the old way even though it is dying. In the short run it is always easier for a union to organize the hottest shops in different industries, but this strategy is not bulding our power against the multinationals.

And the best part about this national industry strategy is that workers get it! It is so inspiring to be in a room of laundry and hotel and casino workers from ten different countries who are debating these issues. Workers know that their companies are massive and growing and they understand that they will only have power if they coordinate between cities and countries. When I asked for volunteers of workers that were willing to go to other cities to organize their coworkers, almost every hand went up. In San Francisco, hotel workers went on strike and were locked out for months just to win the right to negotiate their contract with the multinational hotel chains together with their brothers and sisters in other cities around the country at one table. Conglomerates like Cintas laundry and whole industries like security guard services are facing a whole new labor movement with workers who understand and are invested in national and multinational power. And that is why the debate at the AFL-CIO is so important.

I am sorry about the multiple posts.
My computer kept telling me to try again later. I didn't know that it was posting. Can you please remove my extra posts?

Trapper John,

Thanks for the great post! One piece of history I think everyone needs to know: the push to get the labor movement back on its feet isn't new. It's been going on since at least the late 80s.

If you don't know the backstory, it'd be easy to say, why is Andy Stern arguing for drastic changes? It's because unions in the AFL have been talking about more moderate change for quite a while. Every few years there's another committe to discuss what to do. And then almost nothing happens. Unions have started to get their act together in the world of politics. But when it comes to organizing, with a few exceptions they're dead in the water. At the rate unions are reforming, working people don't stand a chance.

Smart people can disagree over whether SEIU's proposal the right way to go. But it's hard to see how anything less than a major change is going to save us.

If you're interested in a good example of union cooperation, check out this website: http://uniteddodworkerscoalition.org/. It's a coalition of unions -- both AFL-CIO members and unaffiliated unions -- that are working together to fight the Bush administration's anti-worker efforts in the Department of Defense.

One area where unions must improve is self-policing. My sister is an AFSCME member, and she is rabidly anti-union due to the antics of some of her co-workers which have been tolerated or at least not actively investigated and punished.

Holla,
This goes to show that more consumers will get attracted to the offer.
Does this sound like a scam?
Others want the opposite and how easy it is to use.




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You welcome

Hello,
Credit repair is the process you undertake to remove or correct these errors on your credit report.
The companies pushing credit repair schemes will not tell you where to find the information that you need to repair your credit reports, before you pay them.
Do yourself a favor and save some money, too.




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You welcome

Holla,
You should not have a pattern of revolving debts.
These are not credit repair schemes, but they are usually credit monitoring services or newsletter subscriptions which may or may not be helpful to you in your current situation.
Other companies can take as long as 48 hours to deposit the money into your account, it depends on the company you go with.




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Thank you

Hello,
Do you pay your bills on time?
If you are deep in debt and it seems that there is no way out, there is hope.
In general, the higher your credit score, the better credit risk you make and the more likely you are to be given credit at great rates.




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You welcome

Hi,
This is, however, the most that a credit repair agency can do to improve your rating.
You can use the loan amount for any purpose ranging from buying your dream car, going out for a long awaiting holiday, consolidating debts to reduce the debt burden or for any personal purpose.
A better approach is to try to give the home back to the lender.




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You welcome

Another person that should be very careful are students. Many college student have no idea what their score is and when they try to get credit then they face a problem that they don't have any credit. The book called The Ultimate Credit Repair Book shows how you can ADD good credit history and it will not cost you anything. This is great for students because most do not have any history,

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