National labor unions to skip 2012 DNC

Misplaced anger and missed opportunities:

Casting North Carolina as an anti-union bastion with "regressive policies aimed at diluting the power of workers," more than a dozen trade unions affiliated with the national AFL-CIO have told the Democratic National Committee that they will sit out the 2012 convention in Charlotte.

Right assessment, wrong response. You don't change the hearts and minds of people by absenting yourself; you make the biggest splash you can. And you damned sure don't leave your local affiliates out to dry:

Local and state labor leaders also are still on board. The N.C. AFL-CIO helped lobby for Charlotte to be the convention site. On Friday, a leader of the Raleigh-based labor group called the national unions' decision understandable but "shortsighted."

"I think the only way we're going to change things here is if people understand the struggles here. I'm encouraged that the Democratic Party wants to make investments here in the state," said MaryBe McMillian, secretary-treasurer of the N.C. AFL-CIO. "This convention is going to bring much-needed work for union members and thousands of unemployed North Carolinians."

We're going to be exploring issues surrounding the upcoming Convention in the near future, and hopefully getting some feedback from DNC folks working to bring this off. If you have any questions or observations, please put them forward.

Comments

Thank goodness. Boycott the DNC in Charlotte!

Some people are sick and tired of the federal Democratic party walking all over them. AND they're not afraid to change their existing behavior to show it.

This is both the correct assessment and the correct (initial) response.

Not attending the DNC (which is just a way to throw money away) is simply the most easy step to showing your disgust with the federal Democrats.

Upping the ante a bit to some protests at the DNC should be the next logical and very easy step for anyone with the least bit of concern about labor, ending wars, stopping the enrichment of the rich, or any other issue that USED to be associated with the federal Democratic party.

State Democratic politicians take notice: aligning yourself with the current national Democratic leaders aligns you with their Social Security-gutting policies.

Stay far, far away.

 

About that "throwing money away":

With new Democratic convention rules barring donations from corporations, federal lobbyists and PACs - including those affiliated with labor unions - the Charlotte gathering already was forecast to be less reliant than past conventions on big financial support from organized labor.

So, how does that translate into your anti-Dem worldview? Some sort of trick to get more money down the road? The DNC doing a favor for its big-money corporate masters?

If you truly want to reshape the Party, you have to exercise discretion. That means you must have the capacity to recognize the good as well as the bad, encouraging the former while discouraging the latter. Scorched-Earth approaches accomplish only one sure thing: They scorch the Earth.

Labor is under attack across the country

NC needs support just like all the other states where labor is being dismantled by Republican tools of ALEC.

We stand together or we fall.

and here's a link to show support to the Verizon workers who are on strike DailyKos petition

Progressives are the true conservatives.

The Convention is a Convention

I was a delegate to the 2008 convention, and I was really surprised by how much of a convention it really is. I think when you see it on TV, you just think it's a dog and pony show. And honestly, when we were in the convention hall itself, there were lots of groans about made for TV moments.

But the convention goes on 24 hours a day for the better part of a week. There are all kinds of forums, demonstrations, and meetings. I have never been in a location where I was so immersed in political dialogue. I learned about all kinds of new things and had plenty of my existing values and views challenged. And I'd say that 95% of all the dialogue was quite civil.

I would encourage any political group (large or small, local or national) to have a presence at the convention. I agree with Steve that the AFL-CIO is really missing an opportunity. And I'd love to see them push for more union organizing in NC.

A real curiosity

NC Democrats were the ones who passed and signed the right to work law! NC Democrats were the first to immediately call out the national guard and state trooper at the threat of a strike. NC Democrats have been implacable in their anti-union hatred and pursuit of anti-union policies--might get some blacks into the unions and OMG, what will happen? NC has the lowest percentage of union members and lots of Democrats toward the right think that is great. It is well to say that all that is past and everything is peachy keen--but it is not. NC Democrats thrive on anti-unionism -- ask them. Lets see, just how dead was Card Check in 2008? Deader than a doornail. How much as Obama supported unions in Wisconsin and Michigan this last year - nil, none, zero, zot.

But when we are all backslapping and meeting and planning, we tell ourselves the welcome mat is out for unions - only it aint and aint gonna be. How pray tell should union workers feel about all of this. I would say they might just get pissed off, really pissed.

The NCDP has not a thought about a union strategy, except to beg for money, in NC. Just like it does not have a defined strategy for dealing with the tiebreakers, the Unaffiliated.

wafranklin

 

As a 'life member' of CWA, one of the two unions on strike...

against Verizon, maybe I can explain labor's thinking on this issue. First of all, being a rank and file member is not like being a member of a political party, where you can change direction and join the Repubs or Dems every other year. It's tied to your job, and if you work for an organization that has thousands of employees, it becomes the way you deal with the managers. I can remember when Clinton signed onto NAFTA, all the workers knew what was going to happen, pitting slave labor against decent paying jobs, but the national labor leaders thought they could go along with the Dems, because 'standards' were built into the agreements. Well, time has passed, and the union power is nil in this country, and the Dems have joined the Republicans in being the messenger for the all-controlling huge corporations. So why would they want to join with an anti-worker political party in paying for another farce! Labor will pick and choose what progressive candidates they will support, as it should be.

I've seen many in the LGBT

community heading in this same direction, especially at the national level;

...will pick and choose what progressive candidates they will support, as it should be.

Luckily at the state level the Dems have been pretty good about supporting things like anti-bullying bill which passed in 2009, funding ADAP, and the contrast is made easy with the GOPs taking over and pushing for a marriage-discrimination amendment. And having an ally like David Parker in charge of the state party helps a lot too!

Here's the problem with this:

Labor will pick and choose what progressive candidates they will support, as it should be.

Labor is not going to pick the Democratic candidates for Prez & Vice Prez, the Delegates are. And if Labor sits out the Convention, they won't be there to (at least try to) influence which way those Delegates vote.

Like I said, you don't change people's minds that way. Out of sight, out of mind.

I don't think they're worried that Obama will have opponents....

and when I wrote that sentence, I meant I believe they won't be giving the Dem party a blank check like they used to. This is the way I do it myself. Why back corporation candidates who don't represent me? To give an example of how the Dems have changed, since early 2000s, there has been a bill in a house committee(HR 1322) which only states that a company cannot renege on their contractual promises to retirees by dropping benefits. Doesn't cost the taxpayer anything, and would have had complete Dem support years ago. They couldn't get it out of committee even when they controlled the house majority! And no sense going into all the other dropped items, but everyone is ok with the bank executives paying themselves bonuses after swindling the country out of billions.

Inaction vs negative action

Without going too deeply into the "lesser evil" argument (which is depressing as hell), if we allow the power in Congress to shift even more to the Right, pensions will suffer horribly.

Our own Senator (Dick Burr) has been rubbing his hands together for years on this subject, and his first target is completely doing away with defined benefit pensions for Federal workers. He's also worked diligently for (private) pension funders for years in an effort to give them more power to play around with people's money and even deny paying benefits for x or y reason.

If the R's take over the Senate? And (God help us) the White House? Look out.

Sheer idiocy

Stupid decision.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Lesser Evil of all the Lesser Evils

Once again, we do face the lesser evil. We are held hostage by our own party in this case, by a group of blue dogs who want to go The Third Way (remember the DLC,
which was the corporate Democatic Party, now Third Way and Kay baby is a co-chair-how cosy). A lot of money will flow to NC to get Obama elected, but how much to get state senators and representives elected, judged elected, etc., a reverse of the tsumani of cash that flooded the state in 2010 while our leaders sat on their hands. We are going to face a fight on social programs no matter who is in the WH--look at Obama putting SS, Medicare and Medicaid on the 50 yard line and looking the other way. What pray tell is the difference. SCOTUS you say, well they got that locked up anyway.

There is more than enough reason for a hell of a fight for the WH and state offices in 2012. But, we got to get folks energized with either hate or fear, they work. Ask yourself will a Gov McGrory act like the Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, or Kaisich from Ohio, or god forbid, Scott from Florida.

wafranklin

 

I can't even imagine how

crazy things could get with a Governor McCrory. Given some of the efforts the current majority party is pushing, having the Governor's office aligned rather than acting as a check and balance against that, things could get worse.

Agree 100%. I was seriously doubting Perdue for 2012

but she has my enthusiastic vote after she made good use of her veto pen.

A mere fact: The DSCC left Elaine Marshall twisting in the wind

And that was in 2010.

I don't have to look too far to know that funding and supporting the national Democratic party establishment means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when it comes to electing progressive policy makers.

Washington Democrats can go (expletive deleted) themselves.