Service Employees International Union (SEIU), both major teachers’ unions — the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) — and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) decided to caucus separately [from the other unions at the DNC].Mike Schirtzer found this article which delves into the capitulation of our union on so much of the neo-liberal ed deform movement, among other issues.
At this year’s DNC, four major unions solidified some of the most concessionary tendencies within the labor movement... The caucus break represents the culmination of a long, steady trend in American trade unionism toward neoliberal unionism — a unionism that espouses collaboration with corporations instead of conflict and upholds free-market capitalism as reconcilable with labor’s interests..... Jacobin
...the breakaway caucus unions represent a new way of dealing with these types of politicians, shifting from strategic alliances to sycophantic servitude. In pledging allegiance to Clinton so immediately and so fervently, the four breakaway unions appear to have lost the ability to identify labor’s own interests and enemies.
The NEA and AFT, for their part, have also continued to donate profusely to Democrats (over $30 million in the 2012 election cycle alone) while much of the party leads the charge of anti-union and anti-public-education “reform.”
The proliferation of this model of unionism would spell disaster for the American labor movement. Our movement’s success depends on how widely and how militantly we can organize workers to fight corporate power and the 1 percent, not embrace them.What I find funny about this piece is that it tries to make a case that this is a new thing when those of us in education know that our AFT/NYSUT/UFT capitulated to neo-liberalism a long time ago. Our union was founded almost 60 years ago on the basis of defending the essentials of capitalism even as it devolved into the essentials of free-market, non-regulatory, privatization of government services based neo-liberalism - as opposed to the FDR New Deal model neo-liberalism aims to destroy.
Also read in the DN: Richard Greenwald: How labor unions lost their way
At this year’s DNC, four major unions solidified some of the most concessionary tendencies within the labor movement.