|Randi sends in shock throops in Detroit union takeover
How does one rally the membership against a state takeover of local schools with a national takeover of the local union?... Mike Antonucci, EIAAbout 6 or so years ago Randi parachuted into Detroit to help negotiate another sell-out contract along with retired DFT president Keith Johnson. That worked out as well for DFT as for Newark, Washington DC, Philly, etc.
|David Bellel's graphic
Over the past decade, EIA's Mike Antonucci and I have chronicled AFT takeovers of local unions, not only over corruption like Washington DC but over locals that want to leave the AFT or because AFT leaders don't like the politics of the elected union leader, like Detroit which we reported on in August
Last August, the executive board of the Detroit Federation of Teachers ousted its perennially agitated president, Steve Conn. When the rank-and-file had an opportunity to weigh in, a majority favored Conn’s return, but the margin fell short of the necessary two-thirds.
In past AFT takeovers they sent in shock troops which Mike hinted at:
there’s still the danger that AFT could airdrop the locksmiths and take over the whole operation.”
But that wasn't necessary:
Well, the airdrop wasn’t required because the DFT executive board opened the gates and let the army in.And the best part:
“Internal elections would be temporarily postponed to permit all DFT leaders and members to focus, for now, on the goals of the campaign.”You see, I often tell people in the UFT who think that taking over the union is just about beating Unity in an election that there would be consequences - they would protest the election to the AFT (Randi) and they would rule there were "issues" and then just take it over and maybe even put the elected president on trial.
Conn couldn’t run again for the presidency because he was also booted from the union, but certainly there was a danger that one of his allies could activate his base and regain the office.
How much fun will it be if they every decide to have a union election in Detroit if Steve Conn's people actually win again? Just throw all of them out of the union. I believe Steve is trying to organize a counter union and force a vote on which one teachers would choose.
Here is Mike's full report:
And the Detroit News report.
And by the way, this Friday MORE is doing a support event for the Puerto Rico union, which actually broke free of what they termed the "bloodsucking AFT" a decade ago - they were too far away to drop in the troops and the AFT sued and lost.
Here are some ed notes pieces over the years on the situation in Detroit (One day I have to dig up the video of Steve Conn heckling Randi at a rally in 2012 at the AFT convention.)