The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

AFL-CIO Looks Forward to More Backward Policies

Sep 16, 2013

The national AFL-CIO held its every-four-years convention the week after Labor Day. The AFL-CIO consists of 57 unions, the last remaining shards of once-powerful U.S. organized labor.

The AFL-CIO leaders declared they would finally get down to business about rebuilding the labor movement. So they said. But their proposals revealed more of the same-old, same-old – and even worse.

The power of workers to defend themselves rests on the central position workers hold in the production of goods and services. They are centered there. They can control it.

The union leadership has not been ready to call on workers to use their power in more than piecemeal or symbolic ways. This single fact explains why the AFL-CIO today has become merely a shadow of a shadow.

Today the AFL-CIO leaders declare they will take bold new actions. But not one single proposal relates to organizing workers to fight on a large scale. All their proposals either distract workers into futile campaigns to vote for Democrats; or dilute workers’ influence by wooing non-worker allies like the Sierra Club, NAACP, or MomsRising.

The exact policy that brought us here is the very policy that the labor leaders can’t bring themselves to part with.