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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Sunday, July 24, 2005

It's my Party, and I'll cry if I want to...Part II

CHICAGO (AP) -- The AFL-CIO succumbed to division Sunday, with its largest union deciding to bolt the 50-year-old federation and three others poised to do so in a dispute over how to reverse organized labor's long slide.

"Our differences have become unresolvable," said Anna Burger, chairman of the Change to Win Coalition which is setting itself up to be a rival of the AFL-CIO. "Today will be remembered as a rebirth of union strength in America."

A divided labor movement worries Democratic leaders who rely on the AFL-CIO's money and manpower on Election Day.

In the 2004 campaign, unions ran nearly 260 phone banks and mailed out at least 30 million pieces of political literature in 16 states, mostly on behalf of Democrats.

Experts said the split might deepen labor's woes.

Others said competition might be good for the labor movement.

I've said it before, (in Part I) it's long past time for unions to quit blindly following the Democrat agenda...which isn't what it once was.

Not that the Republican Party is perfect; no human institution can be, but for all its faults, it seems to be the best thing going right now.

I'm a member of several unions, and while I understand the necessity of the political aspects of "the game", I also know that it's futile to back the losing team. By mindlessly "latching onto the coattails" of the Democrat Party, the unions have been doing just that...which is counterproductive.
(Pun intended, of course)

As I also said in Part I, I'd still like to see a viable opposition Party.

Checks and balances are a good thing...


Blogger Josh Fahrni said...

From watching people in Oregon, friends of my family, I don't have a lot of good things to say about Unions. I know they can do good in certain area's, but in the Northwest the workers get nailed constantly. However, I find it strange that Union leaders would follow the Democrats...who've made it harder for Unions to take care of their members, who seem to be working to let foreign cheap labor take Union business...Who are offering incentives for cheaper labor to come into our country. Just backwards. Everyone will wake up in due time.

July 24, 2005 9:20 PM  
Blogger Hawkeye® said...

IMHO, Unions still have a place... that is, wherever blood-sucking employers take unfair advantage of their employees so they can put extra profit into their own pockets. That's why unions were started in the first place... to protect workers who were being taken advantage of.

If Union membership is declining, I would like to think it is because the real need for Unions has diminished. All of the companies I have worked for over the last 30 years have been middle- to large-size companies, and only one of them was Unionized. And the one that WAS Unionized had been a Union operation going back to WWII.

If companies pay good wages and provide good benefits, the employees will see no benefit to Unionizing... IMHO.

July 24, 2005 9:58 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Once upon a time, unions were crucial to putting an end to exploitation of workers by unfair employers. Not nearly so crucial nowadays, but that's mostly because of unions, and their influence on employers. But they still have their place in the world, to try to keep employers from regressing.

Point of history:
Henry Ford actually hired thugs to brutalize union organizers way back when.

I guess I've just paraphrased what you already said. I'd just like to add that the influence of unions on employers also benefits non-union workers to some extent...in such matters as wages and benefits.

July 24, 2005 10:13 PM  
Blogger Kajun said...

Most of my adult life, I have been self-employed, so I have no business talking about unions.

Working for my Daddy's Construction Co. one summer (during school), I learned that a carpenters helper does not walk up to a table saw and make a few wooden wedges, when sent after them and there aren't any, though!

I thought they were going to hang me right on the spot!

July 25, 2005 2:58 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Definitely a "no-no"...sometimes I wish I wasn't limited in what types of operations I'm contractually allowed to do in my job, but them's the rules.

July 25, 2005 3:38 AM  
Blogger Josh Fahrni said...

I can't believe a man that sits on that motorcycle talks about rules...for shame. Turn in your headband, you've been removed.

You may redeem yourself by cracking your superior in the face, the next time you cross paths.

July 25, 2005 5:29 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Don't make the all-too-common mistake of confusing everyone who rides a Harley with the 1% who give the rest of us a bad name.

I know, you were kiddin', right?

July 25, 2005 8:55 AM  
Blogger MargeinMI said...

I hear ya on that following the rules bit. One of the most frustrating work situations I was ever in was a union job where I shared a job classification. (I did this job in 3 locations over the time I worked for the company, one of those I shared responsibility.)

The guy I worked with was dumber than a box of rocks, no other way to say it. He was good if it was a regular, nothing special happening kind of day. On the other hand, anything out of the ordinary threw him for a loop.

Unfortunately for me, the year I had to work with him there was multiple MAJOR construction projects going on. Our job was to unload the semis, inventory the parts, divide them up to the proper 5 different job sites they were to go to, inspect and confirm receipt to the purchasing and engineering departments.

The whole thing was getting out of control, so I set up a spreadsheet to track all aspects of the process daily. He couldn't 'get' it, and the boss (Biggest Type A I ever met) chastized me for it. YEARRRGH!

Just one example of lowest denominator thinking.

July 25, 2005 9:16 AM  
Blogger RAM said...

While the Dims continue to harp over "our" jobs being sent overseas, I remember while I was a union offical, they (the Dims) voted along with Republicans for NAAFTA.

Even the darling of "left wing loonie" Dims, Indy's own Julia Carson voted to radify it.

If you don't know Carson, just think of Kennedy, Rangle, BOTH Clintons, and Barbara Lee rolled into one Dim body.

July 25, 2005 9:32 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

From each according to their abilities?

Between '96 and '97 I was laid off from my job at the Military-Industrial Complex, during which time I worked a number of "temp" gigs.
(When I wasn't "busy" screwing off, riding my Harley in 48 states + Canada)

Having my FAA Airframe & Powerplant licenses makes me a very marketable commodity, and also qualifies me to work on just about anything on an aircraft...but, at my current job, I'm limited to working on strictly mechanical components; nothing electrical or structural. It was sort of a refreshing change working in the private sector, where I was under no such constraints, and consequently I could work on those aspects, too. I'd hate for those skills to atrophy...

July 25, 2005 9:32 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Y'know, it's kind of comical; where I work, on the one hand, the union preaches the Democrat Party line...while on t'other, when we need a political favor, they run to our Republican Congressman.

I understand that they have to deal with whomsoever is in office, but I find it amusing, nonetheless...

July 25, 2005 9:37 AM  
Blogger Kajun said...

An atrophy is a terrible thing to waste!

July 25, 2005 5:30 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

An atrophy is a waste...but I'll wager you knew dat!

July 25, 2005 6:25 PM  
Blogger 'da Bunny said...

I watched a program about the Mafia on the History Channel a couple of nights ago. Part of the program dealt with past connections between the labor unions and the Mafia, and how 'da Mob controlled a big part of many union "activites", especially with regard to political affiliations. Of all the people to comment negatively on this "policial connection", and the negative stereotypes projected toward people of Italian descent, they had Mario Cuomo on this show, griping about this issue. Now, let's see...hmmm...isn't Cuomo a Democrat? And haven't the Democrats benefitted for decades from block-voting labor unions? What a laugh-riot to sit there and watch former NY Gov. Cuomo sit there and "bite the hand that fed him" during his political career. I guess that liberal dunce doesn't know the definition of "hypocrite."

July 25, 2005 7:07 PM  
Blogger 'da Bunny said...

I forgot to mention that, since my husband is of Italian heritage, I do agree with Cuomo that the "mob" stereotype is a crock! And with garbage like the Sopranos and Goodfellas, this stereotype unfortunately gets perpetuated.

July 25, 2005 7:16 PM  
Blogger RAM said...

'da Bunny: That thing with Cuomo is not much different than unions and the likes of Jimmy Hoffa getting JFK elected then "Jack" sicking brother Bobby on him!

July 25, 2005 7:38 PM  
Blogger hooey said...

A union should be the vanguard of the worker's.

July 25, 2005 8:10 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

'da Bunny:
The Mafia has been involved behind the scenes with a lot of labor unions. All those union dues add up, so it was a lucrative racket to get into.

Do you wonder, as I do, if we'll ever find out what really happened to Jimmy Hoffa?

I actually agree with you, for a change, that is what a union should be.

Unfortunately, in my experience, a union is only as strong as its members' resolve...and there are a lot of backstabbers in the rank and file, who'd screw their union "brothers & sisters" over in a heartbeat, just for a little bit of overtime...

July 25, 2005 9:11 PM  
Blogger Woody said...


don't van guards have their own union?

July 26, 2005 1:43 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

You mean like armored car drivers?
(Good one, tho')

My van has its own security system...

July 26, 2005 3:34 AM  
Blogger JR said...

  I think it is only a blip on the screen… The fact is there is just not enough money out there to keep all the Union Leadership happy… Groups like move on dot org have taken more than their fair share, leaving the unions leadership lacking… It is a simple case of the lack of corruption… I expect that within the next sixty days the money will flow and they will be back in the fold…

July 26, 2005 11:10 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

While a lot of union dues have been invested in the Democrats and their minions, it hasn't been buying much lately.

Hopefully more people will wake up and realize that the agenda their hard-earned dollars is supporting is not their own...

July 26, 2005 12:31 PM  
Blogger hooey said...

After 2½ years, the National Aeronatics & Space Agency (NASA) has launcehd the space shuttle «Discovery» for another shuttle mission. Blastup was this smorning. Read more...

July 26, 2005 12:43 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Good Lord, boy! Preview is your friend!

1. Aeronautics
2. launched
3. morning

How can you expect anyone to take you seriously, claiming to be an education major, yet not being able to spell...or even take the time to proofread? And that goofy picture?! Get real. For example, my profile picture is actually of me. Unoriginal perhaps, but personally I prefer reality.
(You should try it sometime)

A lot of technological advances have come from the space program, not the least of which are these computers on which we communicate nowadays.

July 26, 2005 1:15 PM  
Blogger RAM said...

I never had a good impression of John Sweeney in the first place, but never thought him totally worthless until I heard Ted Kennedy say, "He's my kind of man!" Well that is all I needed to hear. Maybe after that comment, the AFL-CIO will lose other unions too!

I guess the real death knell would be Howard Dean telling us how great John is. ;-)

July 26, 2005 8:50 PM  
Blogger RAM said...

P.S. I am SURE Ted has been treated to more than a few dinners and a few hundred gallons of alcoholic beverages by John and union attorneys!

July 26, 2005 9:07 PM  
Blogger MargeinMI said...

An even sillier story:

When I first joined the union (public utility), one of my responsibilities was supplying three satilite stations. Having just a small load of stuff to go, I put it in the trunk of the company car for the secretary to take 'cause she was going anyways.

Oh. My. Good. And. Faithful. Dog. Riding. In. A. Sidecar. With. Fireworks!

From my 'brothers' reaction, you'd'a'thunk I'd personally shot Jimmy Hoffa myself!

(BTW, my own personal feeling, based on nothing, but I think he's part of the 696/Woodward interchange--three levels deep. Charlton Heston's descendents will find him in 1000 years when he finally floats to the top.)

Anyway....from that day on, I was Union Sister non-grata. I even bought a Pontiac (REALLY wanted a Toyota) to be a good Union Sister, but the POS turned out to be made in Korea (twice the price for parts). :o(

Not to mention, I grew up in Detroit, the biggest bastion of union brotherhood in this country. I witnessed it ruin my city/county/state. The only union dues I will be paying again is to Maggie's ROF/LMHO. (You guarantee me a laugh a day, it'd be worth it!)

July 26, 2005 9:09 PM  
Blogger MargeinMI said...

Ahhhhhhhh. I feel so much better now.

Thanks Jack!

July 26, 2005 9:13 PM  
Blogger RAM said...

Off topic but, did everyone hear Algore say Johnny Carson made phone calls to Al to help him with his "commedic (sp) timing"?

Why didn't he just call Johnny a failure?

Then again, why didn't he say this while Johnny was alive?

Proof positive that someone as great as Johnny was that, (IF true), he really could not make a silk purse out of a "hoghead's" ear. OR,---that a ventriliquist's dummy needs someone to say the lines for him in order to be funny!

Besides, I though Al invented comedy!

July 26, 2005 9:20 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Yes, it's pretty likely that the "alpha jackass" has had a lot of union dues spent on him...and his like, former "alpha jackass" Al Gore for example. What a delusional twit!

You're quite welcome; anytime...

July 26, 2005 9:31 PM  
Blogger David said...

1. Its about money and power. AFL-CIO represents the unions of the dying industries (manufacturing). The Service Workers Union represent a growing sector of the economy - service sector. However, it takes time for the old guard (AFL-CIO) to yield its power to the new guard (service). Karl Marx said that power is not given, but only taken. So, Andrew Stern (service), a career socialist, true to his godfather (darn, this aint' a mob analogy), decided to take power, and when it was not given, decided to create his own power, and eventually take over/dominate the old sector (manufacturing).

2. We shall see, whether Stern can contribute/help/assist both parties, which is a pragmatic approach.

3. Free trade (a good thing on balance) is hurting the AFL-CIO.

Have fun boys and girls. I better write something funny.

July 28, 2005 2:06 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Yes...money and power. Money gives us buying power; that's why this union member has a house in an upscale suburb, a Harley and a sailboat.

Those latter items are fun. But by all means, write something funny...

July 28, 2005 3:37 AM  
Blogger hooey said...

Progressive Change is coming. The latest in a continuing line of RepublIca'nt defections is none other than W. H. Frist MD, the Senat Majority Leader (P'ton, Calss of '74). Read more...

July 29, 2005 12:43 PM  
Blogger Libby Gone™ said...

You are not the fist person that I heard that rumor from........
(referencing the burial on "the dragstrip")

July 31, 2005 4:41 PM  
Blogger Libby Gone™ said...

I know I know
preview is my freind
12 step process
11 preview
12 post

July 31, 2005 4:43 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Libby Gone™:
Fist [sic] of all, welcome.

Secondly, whilst "Preview" is indeed our friend, we all slip up 'pon occasion...no worries.

July 31, 2005 6:53 PM  
Blogger RAM said...

howie's above comment is proof that even if Republicans change their mind and see things their way, dims will still despise them.

I thought Frist was an intelligent man, but I guess I was wrong. This john kerry "flip-flop" impersonation will likely end his possible run for the White House.

If you want to tell Senator Frist what you think of his reversal, his Washington office number is 202-224-3135. Tell him to oppose S471, that you do not want your tax dollars used to promote killing of life.

While I respect his right to change his mind, he will NOT gain any dim voters by this move and will certainly lose Christian Conservative votes.

July 31, 2005 9:59 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

If howie's profile is to be believed (and I'm not sure that it is), he's young...and presumably idealistic. Perhaps in time, with actual life experience behind him, he'll "see the light". For now, at any rate, he's uncommonly senseless. You're probably familiar with Winston Churchill's quote regarding liberals vs. conservatives.

Thanks for the contact information for Dr. Frist, who might charitably be excused for his idealistic hopes for embryonic stem cell research precisely because he's a doctor.

From what I'm hearing, the Bill won't pass anyway...

August 01, 2005 3:37 AM  
Blogger JannyMae said...

No, I condemn Dr. Frist for his idealistic hopes for embryonic stem cell research. He should know better. Even if the bill passes, Bush will probably veto it.

Even if there were the high hopes for embryonic stem cell research that they tout, it would still not justify cultivating and killing embryos to obtain them.

August 06, 2005 1:49 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

From what I understand, what Dr. Frist actually said has been blown out of proportion. He didn't suggest any ongoing program involving harvesting embryos; only ascertaining the viability of using some that were going to be disposed of anyway...those having been donated by the donor parent(s).

There's an excellent article about it HERE.

August 06, 2005 4:03 PM  

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