Follow AAE on:

Subscribe to RSS Feed:

Unions Already Boycotting 2012 DNC Convention
posted by: Alix | August 15, 2011, 04:02 PM   

The Democratic National Committee's decision to hold their 2012 convention in Charlotte, North Carolina has stirred up criticism from dozens of trade unions over North Carolina's "anti-union" climate. As a right-to-work state, workers in North Carolina are not required to join a union as a condition of employment. As such, union power is severely curtailed when worker choice prevents amassing millions in revenue from forced dues. Compounded by the President's ailing popularity in the face of a severe economic crisis, the traditionally left-leaning labor unions are fleeing en masse over the decision to hold the convention in a state that isn't considered a union stronghold.

The AFL-CIO told Democratic Party officials last week that they were angered over the decision not to consult them on selecting a city for the convention. As host cities often see major economic bumps from the thousands of supporters, media, and tourists spending millions over the course of a week of festivities, union leaders worry that the convention is sending the wrong message to President Obama's base.

The decision has made 13 separate trade unions rethink their participation in the convention thus far. One in particular, the International Association of Machinists, made no apologies for boycotting the DNC Convention for the first time in decades. "This is the union that came up with the idea of Labor Day, and the convention starts on Labor Day in a right-to-work state," said spokesman Rick Sloan. "We see that as an affront to working men and women across this country."

In response to the union backlash, Democratic National Convention Committee CEO Steve Kerrigan cited local support, "We were proud to have the support of local labor leaders when we chose Charlotte to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention, including the N.C. AFL-CIO." While the local unions may be cooperating in light of the thousands of travelers promised to the area, the larger national groups have made their disapproval known.

The National Education Association, the nation's largest labor union, has yet to announce plans to sit out the convention, but many argue the damage has already been done in terms of maintaining union support. Political analysts warn the decision may cost the DNC millions of dollars in donations from groups that are considered President Obama's base constituency.

In the wake of labor battles in Wisconsin and Ohio, union leaders from across the country see the selection of North Carolina as a symbolic gesture from the President and Democratic Party officials, who they argue, are not supporting unions the way they have traditionally. A selection of forced-union state could have shown solidarity in the face of labor reforms.

The withdrawal of support from these union groups does not bode well for President Obama's approval numbers. According to a new poll posted Sunday, just 39% of Americans approve of President Obama's job performance, while 54% disapprove. Both are the worst numbers of his presidency, leaving many to speculate grim chances of reelection at a time when his union base is fleeing. Only time will tell if in order to gain money and support from the NEA, President Obama will back off his ambitious education reform agenda that the union has so adamantly opposed, including support for charter schools and Race to the Top competitive grants.

What are your thoughts on the DNC's selection of North Carolina for the 2012 convention?
Comment below.

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Gail Hardy, Cadiz, KY, August 24, 2012

Don't Boycott the only good choice that you have. President Obama is our only hope for for jobs, for unions, for the working class and the elderly the unemployed, and less fortunate.
written by Gail Hardy, Cadiz, KY, August 24, 2012

I think that President Obama and the Democrat Party's decision to hold the National Convention in N.C. was in no way a slam against unions, but a choice to help him gain favor and political support from the resident' in that state and in the Charlotte area. I am a member of Kentucky Education Association, we are a teachers union and I am a member of NEA, a very large and strong educational union. I do not support "Right to Work" which is anti union; but before our nation can make the changes needed in our economy, we first have to get our president Obama re-elected. So go where you can get the most out of this convention,choose a swing state and turn it into a blue state. President Obama has worked hard to keep his promises to
the people and done the best job possible in a congress that is led by House and Senate Obstructionist lawmakers, the worst in our nations history. I would say that this so called dis-gruneled movement on the part of unions, has Senator Mitch McConnell's touch in it. He is my senator, I know him and how he works. I have watched him for 20 plus years. It is just another way for the Republicans to stir up confusion within the unions that are left. Under President George W. Bush,job outsourcing nearly did away with unions and their vote power,by moving the jobs overseas. A very clever plan to weaken the Democrat party while killing our economy! Just recognize this effort as stirred up by the Republican lies. And work even harder to support or president.. The only presidential candidate in this race that is for Unions!

Submit a comment
 (not published)
smaller | bigger

security code
Write the displayed characters