imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

AFL-CIO’s Dull, Narrowly-Based Culture Has No Appeal to Young Working People

by Harry Kelber (repost) Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 at 8:08 AM

Harry's over 90 years old, but he's nailed one of the big problems of the AFL-CIO's labor movement - it has no appeal to young working people. It's a bunch of old people - grandparents and great-grandparents.

“I think now is the perfect time to reach out to young people, because of the economic devastation we are experiencing,” says Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO’s secretary treasurer. “We need to “make sure they know that the labor movement is the best answer to their economic troubles,” she says.

What is today’s AFL-CIO offering students and young workers? A decent job? No. The Federation is not an employment agency. Then what are the benefits of joining? If you are lucky enough to be represented by a union, (less than 8 percent in private industry are). you can get better benefits from your employer through the union than if you act on your own.

In “educating” these young people about unions, what else do you tell them? That the AFL-CIO conducts sham elections where there are no opponents? That members have few rights, and criticism of leaders is strongly discouraged? Or that members receive no periodic financial reports about how their dues money is spent? (Please think of something favorable to tell them—and we’ll report it.)

Liz says there is a “need” to reach out to young people, but who will do it? When: and how? Apparently, our top labor leaders get credit for merely identifying a problem, but take no responsibility for solving it.

It is a sad fact that members are not publicly proud to belong to the AFL-CIO, as they were in the 1930s, when being a member of the CIO was a badge of honor. How do we explain the fact that there is so little involvement of the rank-and-file in AFL-CIO affairs?

*** AFL-CIO’s Culture Is Alien to Young Peoples’ Life Styles

It’s hard not to notice how utterly humorless AFL-CIO’s organizing literature is, and that goes for the speeches of its leaders. It would be a welcome note to hear AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka crack a joke in his standard pep talks that rarely contain anything about the problems of young workers.

Why is the language of all national labor leaders (including the few on the Executive Council who dare say anything), so dull and colorless? Why don’t they liven up their talk with an occasional comment about an NBA basketball team, or what’s doing in the world of rock star performers or a close look at the latest political scandal or other subjects young people talk about?

They would find little of interest in the web sites of the AFL-CIO and its affiliates or the labor press. They’d be puzzled why the AFL-CIO, after a four-year campaign for the Employee Free Choice Act, is still asking its members to send e-mails to Washington. What does that tell them about the Federation’s political power?

Shuler says: “Young people have in their minds that the labor movement is something their grandparents were involved in.” Well, In the 1930s, union leaders were in tune with the lives of young workers because a great many were young and came from workingclass families. Unions sponsored basketball, baseball and bowling teams that participated in inter-union tournaments. There were low-priced vacation resorts for workers, and a host of cultural events to choose from each weekend. There was a healthy mix of members from different unions.

Members’ rights were respected, and unions ran fair and open elections. By involving their members in organizing, the CIO was able to recruit hundreds of thousands of women and people of color. We can learn a lot from our “grandparents.”

Getting back to Shuler, when are you going to give us a requested report on the AFL-CIO’s financial assets and your role as financial secretary, for which we are paying you more than 0,000 a year?

* * * * *

In 2007, I wrote a pamphlet, “Belong and Be Strong,” addressed to high school seniors, college students and young workers. The 24-page, easy-to-read booklet was designed to acquaint the would-be workers with the advantages of belonging to a union.

Unions around the country bought hundreds of copies. The Texas AFL-CIO, in a “right to work” state, ordered and distributed 5,000 copies to young people, regarding it as a highly effective organizing publication.

The AFL-CIO, however, not only refused to order any copies, but would not even mention it, because I was its author—Harry Kelber

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
another little fact ALF - CIA Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy