I don’t want to get your hopes up too much with the title because it’s certainly not all of them, but at least in Pennsylvania there are signs that the cold, harsh light of reality is creeping into the labor union leadership team. The head of the AFL-CIO in the Keystone State came out this week with some comments that will generally get you fired in most union circles, if not taking up permanent residence next to Jimmy Hoffa (RIP). While not a full scale abandonment, Rick Bloomingdale went so far as to admit that a significant number of his members actually voted for Trump and just maybe his organization is a bit too closely tied to one political party. (Free Beacon)
The leader of Pennsylvania’s largest labor union said that his union will re-think its close ties to the Democratic Party.
Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale said the group did a poor job of listening to its members in the recent past, according to WSKG News. Bloomingdale embarked on a “listening tour” across the state following President Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the state, which was in part inspired by blue collar workers. Bloomingdale said that his members feel “alienated” by liberalism.
“We may have gotten too close to one party,” he said. “We should be for people who are for us, regardless of party label.”
These aren’t the first rumblings of union dissent we’ve seen, but coming from the state level in the AFL-CIO it’s certainly one of the most prominent in recent memory. And when you stop and think about it, it’s really long overdue. The Democrats haven’t been a good fit for the core needs and agenda of the labor unions for a long time now. Their focus on social justice issues and trade in particular have been hitting particularly sour notes.
Think about it. Unions want their members to get jobs (at least in theory if not in contemporary practice) and they want the best pay they can get. How is unlimited importation of foreign, unskilled labor in line with those goals? And the free trade deals which most politicians tout inevitably result in offshoring of jobs and lower wages at home. You’d think that the minimum wage would be a winning Democratic argument with the unions, but every time you turn around you hear another story about how union bosses cut deals allowing their workers to be paid less than non-union workers to drive up membership. Add to that the revelation that union bosses often earn more than the CEOs of major corporations while their members are barely scraping by and you’ve got a formula for revolt.
The current Democratic platform is tailored far more to please social justice warriors on college campuses than your average man or woman working for an hourly wage. Why would they keep participating? Well, as Bloomingdale discovered on his Pennsylvania “listening tour” there are significant numbers of union members who aren’t and they were voting Republican in the last couple of election cycles. It’s really the bosses at the top who handle the distribution of all their union dues to Democrats who are pushing the ship in that direction.
Smarten up, union workers. You’re management is selling you down the river for a political party which really doesn’t give a hoot about you.