Union Sundown


With the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Industrial Brotherhood of Teamsters splitting from the AFL-CIO, the future of traditional unions in the U.S. is clearly up in the air.

This San Jose Merc-News account suggests that the schism may rejuvenate organizing efforts: "Some Democrats said Monday they hoped the warring factions would come back together. Others suggested the competition would jolt organized labor out of its decades-old slumber." That might include new efforts to organize in Silicon Valley:

"Both factions, the one that's leaving the AFL-CIO and the one that's staying, say they are going to put more emphasis on organizing. So we can expect there is going to be more organizing in Silicon Valley," said Bob Brownstein, policy director for Working Partnerships USA, the research arm of the local AFL-CIO South Bay Labor Council. "But exactly which industries are going to be affected, it's too soon to say. That's going to be a strategic decision, not a philosophical one."

Whole thing here.

Back in 2000, Reason Contributing Editor Mike McMenamin took a long look at "why the AFL-CIO's cynical survival strategy is doomed." With the SEIU and Teamsters in mind, McMenamin got to the basic reason why: "The fact is that unions achieve less for the working poor than the market does."

Whole thing here.

Lyrics to Bob Dylan's 1983 tune "Union Sundown," which here.

A Stan Lee/Marvel Comics No Prize to the first reader who successfully explicates the line "They used to grow food in Kansas/Now they want to grow it on the moon and eat it raw."