Unions may shift focus of tasks to politics http://bit.ly/el4KX2
I think they are learning the wrong lesson from this struugle. Unions are already involved in politics, too much so.
The dialectic of unions has always been do we organize or politicize. Historically the emphasis has been on the political end as in being the Democratic Party’s foot army. There was a time this was not so, that an endorsement by a union was likely to go to both parties.
Labor needs to heal the historic schism between market and goverment unionism. Unions have dangerously become synonymous with goverment. Yes goverment workers need unions but they merely become a special interest group if the only unions are goverment based.
So, the argument being put forward is should the goverment unions become a special interest lobbying organization. Should it divert more of its funds for advocating for political scraps. Overtime it will become more about advocating for goverment than unions perse. Rather than being part of a larger labor movement it will become an isolated cacoon that will continue to lose public support.
In February when we had 100,000 plus workers at the Capitol it was not only goverment unions but the entire labor movement that raised its fists. The lesson to be learned is through choices and circumstances many unions, goverment based in particular, were severed from their labor brethren. There was no way to look out at the masses of workers standing in solidarity and not feel the immense power of the labor movement.
A lesson to be learned is that being the battered soul for the Democratic Party yet each election cycle coming back for more will not surfice anymore. Unions can not continue to put their energy into being a battered soul begging for the scraps Democrats might throw your way. If they don’t fear you, they won’t respect you, and if they don’t respect you they won’t adhere to your demands.
The lesson to be learned is the power of labor must rise again. Forget the game of politics and put your energy into organizing. We need to realize that unions are the democratic tendency and leaders of the labor movement. Our strategy in this time of dispair is to organize, organize, and organize.