Monday, July 25, 2005

Re-Organized Labor

Mikaela says:
News of a shakeup in the AFL-CIO, largest of U.S. unions, has me wondering whether we should be rooting for a complete makeover, not just of trade unions, but also of the Democratic party, which the unions used to help define. These days, the relationship is not so clear, with unions in general in decline and the Democratic party sharing a bed with Republicans in the corporate suite.

At this point, maybe any change is good, and our best hope could be a new way to look at both bedrock institutions. Maybe the time for upset and progress is finally here, and after the initial birth pangs and tearing, they will emerge as leadership institutions once again. Lord knows we need it.

Despite the fear of the unknown, I have to embrace the energy that is rising toward a reform that we can only hope signals a new surge of strength in organized labor. And if labor is strong, can a strong Democratic Party* be far behind? Here's hoping.

* See also some great recent posts by m-pyre's favorite blogger, Arvin Hill, explaining why we can't rely on current Democratic leaders to get it on their own. If new union leadership emerges, we have to corral it to set the direction for the Party immediately, since we're bankrupt as it is.