“What we have to do is to get the progressive groups together and form strategic partnerships … and get past the your issue/my issue situation,” he said at an Aug. 29 breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. The relationships must be “not transactional, but transformational.”
That kind of talk is all throughout the AFL-CIO’s convention literature. An “outreach and engagement” report includes a proposal to “enable more people to be part of the labor movement and create new models of representation.”
The section explains that “many feel that labor should pilot structural changes that would enable some type of formal affiliation for worker’s organizations that do not engage in collective bargaining.”
But what does “worker’s organization” mean in this context? Two of the names that come up the most often in Trumka’s plans are the Sierra Club and the National Council of La Raza, groups whose primary issues are, respectively, the environment and immigration. Those are issues that sometime put them in direct conflict with labor groups.
One would hope that certain labor organizations would abandon the pipe-dreams advocated by Trumka and the AFL-CIO and focus on training programs, apprenticeships and similar nuts-and-bolts activities that benefit members and the industries in which their members work. How this plays out in the built industry should be of concern to those among us who advocate BIM and IPD.
James L. Salmon, Esq.
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Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
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