Republicans hoping recent divisions in the labor movement will help save their hides in November are likely to be sorely disappointed, according to an article by Christian Science Monitor reporter Amanda Paulson. In her article “Ignoring Split, Labor Makes Election Push,” Paulson notes:
The AFL-CIO is dedicating the most it ever has for a nonpresidential election – $40 million – for political mobilization this fall. It has zeroed in on 21 key states to focus on and will be active in more than 200 Senate, House, gubernatorial, and state legislative races.
And it’s not just the amount of money and resources. There is a real commitment to cooperation and coordination between the two major divisions, explains Paulson:
The AFL-CIO and the Change to Win federation have set up a national labor coordinating committee for political activities. They’ve agreed to merge member lists, work together on phone banks, walks, and leaflet distribution, and help state and local groups work closely on key elections.
The cooperative spirit between the two factions should allay some Democratic concerns about Change to Win’s emphasis on organizing before politics. As Change to Win’s political campaign director Colleen Brady said “It’s still a labor family. On the ground, we will work together where it makes sense.”
After a long decline in membership, unions have begun to grow again. The continuing commitment to progressive politics as a unifying theme for American labor can only bode well for Democrats.