A Union Movement Without Union Members

Private sector unions, having mostly destroyed the jobs they were organized to represent, are dying. Public sector unions are doing better, and now represent more than half of union membership. But they, in truth, aren’t doing so great either.

So the AFL-CIO has come up with a novel solution: open up membership to people who are not actually members of unions:

The AFL-CIO on Monday opened the door to becoming a group that is more representative of the left than of its members.

That has been true for a while, but now they apparently are making it official.

Facing what AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka called a “crisis” of membership, officials took the dramatic step at their annual convention of adopting a resolution that invites anyone in the country to join, regardless of union affiliation.

The move faced stiff resistance from union officials who fear the AFL-CIO’s primary mission of representing workers will be left behind if the federation becomes a mouthpiece for liberal and progressive groups.

Despite the resistance, the resolution was adopted without a single “nay” vote being heard in the convention hall.

It is not easy to get your mind around this concept. The AFL-CIO will no longer represent unionized workers, but rather any left winger who wants to pay dues. Ay, there’s the rub!

Trumka said labor must include new workers — not to increase union dues, but to create change for everyone.

Sure, by funneling more dollars to the Democratic Party, whether actual union workers like it or not. There is a certain logic to the transition of the union movement away from unionized workers. The Democratic Party wrote off the American working class some years ago, except insofar as it may happen to overlap with a favored constituency. Labor bosses have long been more interested in supporting leftist causes and politicians than representing their members in collective bargaining. So why not make it official? If you are a MoveOn member, say, the doors are now open, whether you have had a job in recent decades or not. Join the AFL-CIO!

It is, I guess, just one more sign of the times.