Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The AFL-CIO Flirts With Insolvency

At the moment the AFL-CIO has more liabilities than debts. And a significant source of income - credit card royalties - has an uncertain future as the consumer retrenches. Consider that the organization earned $ 35 million from the so-called 'Union Plus Advantage', as compared to $ 74 million in dues, for the year ending June, 2008.

Meanwhile, the SEIU has liabilities that are 80 % of assets.

None of this would matter too much if the organizations were engines of dynamism. However, increased public sector membership has come through legislative fiat, in exchange for the tacit promise of weak contracts. The wages of SEIU California home health care workers are disgraceful. Their leader, Andy Stern, seems determined to bring this model into the private sector, where unions are pretty much in a death spiral in terms of organizing.

For instance, Boeing recently bought a major assembly plant in South Carolina, and promptly - and easily - got the IAM de-certified. This is high skilled domestic manufacturing following auto assembly to the South. It didn't go to the bogeyman of China.

1 "Unions in Debt" - WSJ
2 "Trumka Takes Over AFL-CIO" - Counterpunch
3 "Boeing buys half of South Carolina 787 assembly plant" - Seattle Times
4 "Boeing workers in South Carolina reject union" - Reuters

1 comment:

Matt Young said...

Federal takeover of a huge labor union? That would be entertaining at least. Send them to work on government chain gangs. Keynes would be proud! Do we have enough shovels?