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The Big Fail: Taken For Granted

- August 11, 2012

Slighted By The DNC, Unions Are Holding Their Own "Shadow" Convention In Philadelphia

UNIONS ARE HOLDING A "SHADOW CONVENTION" IN ANGER OVER DEMOCRATS HOLDING THEIR CONVENTION IN RIGHT-TO-WORK NORTH CAROLINA

The Democratic National Convention Will Be Held In A Nonunion Convention Center, In A "Right-To-Work State With The Lowest Rate Of Unionization In The Country." "It wasn't just that North Carolina was a right-to-work state with the lowest rate of unionization in the country, Hill said. Nor was it the fact that delegates, lobbyists, and bigwig Democrats would be hobnobbing at nonunion hotels and listening to speeches at the nonunion Charlotte Convention Center." (Naureen Khan, "Unions Divert Democratic Convention Money To Rally For Worker Rights," National Journal , 7/12/12)

  • "It Was A Stinging Rebuke To One Of The Democratic Party's Most Loyal And Influential Constituencies. And Labor Leaders Are Fuming At The Slight." (Molly Ball, "Labor Fumes Over Charlotte Pick," Politico, 2/5/11)

"Upset" With The Democratic Party's Decision To Hold Their Convention "In A Southern State Long Viewed As Hostile To Organized Labor," Unions "Are Holding A 'Shadow Convention.'" "Upset that the Democratic Party is staging its presidential convention in a Southern state long viewed as hostile to organized labor, union leaders are holding a 'shadow convention' where they hope to highlight key issues near and dear to middle-class workers." (Michael Biesecker, "Upset With DNC Location, Unions Hold Own Rally," The Associated Press , 8/10/12)

  • "The Union Gathering In Philadelphia On Aug. 11 Was Inspired By The Anger Many Labor Officials Felt After Democrats Decided To Stage Their Nominating Convention In North Carolina, A Right-To-Work State That Is The Least Unionized In The Country." (Sam Hananel, "Unions To Hold 'Shadow Convention'," The Associated Press , 7/10/12)

The Leader Of The International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers John Dougherty Said It Wants To Be Clear "That Labor Is Feeling Taken For Granted By Traditional Democratic Political Allies." "John Dougherty, leader of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, made clear that labor is feeling taken for granted by traditional Democratic political allies but denied that the rally is a 'shadow convention.' Unions are furious that the Democratic National Convention will start in union-unfriendly Charlotte, North Carolina on Labor Day." (Chris Brennan, "Huge Union Rally Saturday To Send Message To Democrats," Philadelphia Daily News, 8/6/12)

  • Dougherty: "I Want To Thank The DNC For Waking Us Up. The Days Of Taking The Labor Movement For Granted Are Over." "'I want to thank the DNC for waking us up,' Dougherty said. 'The days of taking the labor movement for granted are over.'" (Chris Brennan, "Huge Union Rally Saturday To Send Message To Democrats," Philadelphia Daily News, 8/6/12)

UNIONS AREN'T STEPPING UP TO HELP THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

Unions Have Refused To Give The Democratic National Convention Their Traditional Help

Labor Unions Say They Won't Help Pay For The Democratic Convention "Partly Because It Is Upset That The Convention Will Be In A State Considered Unfriendly To Unions." "Democrats are struggling to raise money for the party's national convention this summer in Charlotte, N.C., in part because they've barred corporations and lobbyists from contributing. Now, one set of donors the party was banking on-organized labor-says it won't help pay for the event or will scale back contributions, partly because it is upset that the convention will be in a state considered unfriendly to unions." (Brody Mullins And Peter Nichols, "Democrats In Convention Box," The Wall Street Journal, 5/3/12)

  • Construction Unions And Unite Here "Plan To Give Nothing" Towards The Democratic Convention. "Labor unions chipped in $8.6 million of the $60.5 million the party spent in 2008 in Denver. This year, a number of construction unions, as well as the labor organization Unite Here, plan to give nothing, officials say." (Brody Mullins And Peter Nichols, "Democrats In Convention Box," The Wall Street Journal , 5/3/12)
  • In A Sign That "Democrats Are Paying For The Decision To Hold Their National Convention In Union-Hostile Territory," The IBEW Will Send Their "Seven Figure Check" To A Union Rally Instead. "Look no further than the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to measure the price that Democrats are paying for the decision to hold their national convention in union-hostile territory. Traditionally a generous supporter of Democratic conventions, IBEW contributed $1 million to fund the festivities in Denver in 2008. This year, it will instead be writing a seven-figure check for a 'Workers Stand for America' rally in Philadelphia on Aug. 11." (Naureen Khan, "Unions Divert Democratic Convention Money To Rally For Worker Rights," National Journal , 7/12/12)
  • The International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers Cited North Carolina's Right To Work Law As Their Reason For Not Donating To The Democratic National Convention. "The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers gave $1 million in 2008, but it isn't planning to contribute this year. It cites North Carolina's "right to work law" that is opposed by unions, as well as labor's need to spend money on grass-roots campaign work. 'Registration drives, get-out-the-vote drives and leafleting-that's where we can make our best contribution,' said spokesman Jim Spellane." (Brody Mullins And Peter Nichols, "Democrats In Convention Box," The Wall Street Journal , 5/3/12)
  • AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: " This Year, We Will Not Be Making Major Monetary Contributions To The Convention Or The Host Committee For Events Or Activities Around The Convention." "Earlier this week, in a memo to member presidents and the executive council, Trumka indicated that the AFL-CIO would proceed in a similar manner. He encouraged them to support the Philadelphia rally and laid out the thinking on Charlotte. 'This year, we will not be making major monetary contributions to the convention or the host committee for events or activities around the convention,' Trumka wrote. 'We won't be buying skyboxes, hosting events other than the labor-delegates meeting, or bringing a big staff contingent to the convention.'" (Naureen Khan, "Unions Divert Democratic Convention Money To Rally For Worker Rights," National Journal , 7/12/12)
  • "In Addition To The AFL-CIO, The Half-Million Member Laborers' International Union Of North America Has Not Provided Any Money For Charlotte, Said Spokesman Rich Greer. LIUNA Gave $1.5 Million To The Denver Convention." (Michael Biesecker, "Upset With DNC Location, Unions Hold Own Rally," The Associated Press , 8/10/12)

Unions "Gave $8.3 Million Toward The 2008 Convention In Denver That Helped President Barack Obama Win The White House." "Unions have long been a key ally for Democrats, and they gave $8.3 million toward the 2008 convention in Denver that helped President Barack Obama win the White House. Labor officials say that longstanding friendship won't change - nor will their support for Obama. But many are refusing to contribute money to a convention in a state that bans collective bargaining for teachers and other public workers." (Michael Biesecker, "Upset With DNC Location, Unions Hold Own Rally," The Associated Press , 8/10/12)

  • The Laborers Union, The Electrical Workers Union, And Both Teachers Unions Each Donated Over $1 Million To The Convention In 2008. "Among those giving $1 million or more to the Denver Host Committee, according to OpenSecrets.org: the Laborers Union ($1.5 million); the National Education Association ($1.18 million); the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ($1.02 million) and the American Federation of Teachers ($1 million)." (Tim Funk, "DNC Fundraisers Look For The Union Label," WCNC, 4/26/12)

Other Unions Are Planning To Skip The Convention Entirely

"More Than A Dozen" Labor Unions Plan To Boycott The Democratic National Convention, While "Other Unions Are Not Spending Big Money On The Convention As They Have In The Past." "Most unions are still planning to attend the Charlotte, N.C., convention, but more than a dozen are boycotting it. Other unions are not spending big money on the convention as they have in the past." (Sam Hananel, "Unions To Hold 'Shadow Convention'," The Associated Press , 7/10/12)

  • The International Association Of Machinists Said It Has Decided To Skip The Convention After Participating For Decades. "The International Association of Machinists, which is not part of the building trades, said it also has decided to skip the convention after participating for decades. 'This is the union that came up with the idea for Labor Day and this convention starts on Labor Day in a right-to-work state,' said IAM spokesman Rick Sloan. 'We see that as an affront to working men and women across this country.' Monroe said the unions are being careful not to use the term 'boycott' because they don't want to damage Obama's re-election prospects." (Tim Funk and Kirsten Valle Pitman, "Some AFL-CIO-Affiliated Unions Say They'll Skip 2012 Democratic National Convention," Charlotte News Observer, 8/12/11)

OBAMA HASN'T BEEN ON THE SIDE OF JOBS

Obama Killed The Union-Supported Keystone Xl Pipeline

"The Obama Administration Today Formally Rejected A Bid By Canadian Energy Company TransCanada To Build A $7 Billion Oil Pipeline Linking The Tar Sands Of Alberta To Refineries On The Gulf Of Mexico." (Jake Tapper, Kirit Radia, John Parkinson, and Devin Dwyer, "President Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline," ABC News, 1/18/12)

The Pipeline Has Support From Four Unions. "The oil industry, 14 U.S. senators and four unions representing 2.6 million workers have pushed for swift approval of the pipeline, which they said would help keep energy costs down, stimulate $20 billion in spending for the U.S. economy and spur creation of 118,000 jobs." (David Lerman and Jim Efstathiou Jr., "TransCanada Pipeline's Environment Risk Limited, U.S. Finds," Bloomberg , 8/26/11)

  • Four Labor Unions Reached A Tentative Agreement To Build The Pipeline Because They Say It Will Directly Create As Many As 20,000 High Wage Jobs For Their Members. "In September 2010, four unions - the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada; the Laborers International Union of North America; the Teamsters; and the International Union of Operating Engineers - reached a tentative project labor agreement with TransCanada to build the pipeline, which is now finalized. They say the project will directly generate as many as 20,000 high-wage jobs for their members." (Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, "Obama's Allies' Interests Collide Over Keystone Pipeline," The Washington Post, 10/16/11)

Former President Of The Building And Construction Trades Department Mark Ayers Stated "Our Unions Have Been Steadfast Supporters Of The Keystone XL Pipeline." "'Our unions have been steadfast supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that is truly "shovel-ready" and a privately funded endeavor that would put significant numbers of American skilled craft professionals back to work under a project agreement that ensures safe and efficient construction,' said Mark Ayers, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department, an AFL-CIO-affiliated group, in a statement." (Justin Sink, "Despite Battles Over Keystone And Jobs Council, AFL-CIO Endorses Obama," The Hill , 3/13/12)

The Laborers' International Union Of North America Called Obama's Decision "Politics At Its Worst." "'The score is Job-Killers, two; American workers, zero. We are completely and totally disappointed. This is politics at its worst,' LIUNA General President Terry O'Sullivan said. 'Once again the President has sided with environmentalists instead of blue collar construction workers - even though environmental concerns were more than adequately addressed. Blue collar construction workers across the U.S. will not forget this.'" (Laborers' International Union Of North America, "Job-Killers, 2; American Workers, 0," Press Release, 1/18/12)

  • Laborers' International Union Of North America President Terry O'Sullivan: "Instead Of Celebrating Their Victory By Hugging A Tree They Should Hug A Jobless Construction Worker Because They're The Ones Who Are Going To Need It." (Laborers' International Union Of North America , "Job-Killers, 2; American Workers, 0," Press Release, 1/18/12)

The United Association Said The Keystone Pipeline Would Reduce Dependency On The Middle East And Would Provide "13,000 High-Wage And Good-Benefit Jobs." "Through this project, the U.S. will receive oil from our ally neighbor, Canada, rather than increasing dependency on adversary Middle Eastern countries. What's more, TransCanada has already signed a Project Labor Agreement for all aspects of construction. Our membership will directly benefit from the projected 13,000 high-wage and good-benefit jobs, needed to construct this pipeline." ("Legislative Action To Support The Creation Of 13,000 Contraction Jobs!," The United Association Department Of Political And Legislative Affairs, 3/9/11)

  • The United Association: "While Our Nation Is Still Struggling To Recover From The Great Recession, The Keystone Project Is Projected To Create Nearly 20,000 Manufacturing And Construction Jobs In The U.S. And Will Do So Without A Single Dollar Of Government Assistance. The Entire Project Is Privately Funded." (William P. Hite, General President Of The United Association, Letter To Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton, 5/12/11)

Obama's EPA Is Killing Jobs For Coal Workers

The United Mine Workers Of America "Has Decided Not To Endorse Either Obama Or The Presumptive Republican Nominee." "After giving then-Sen. Barack Obama a full-throttled endorsement in the 2008 presidential election, the United Mine Workers of America has decided not to endorse either Obama or the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, in 2012." (Amy Harder, "Coal Miners' Union Sits Out Presidential Race," National Journal, 8/9/12)

  • Mike Caputo, " A UMWA Official And A Democratic Member Of The West Virginia House Of Delegates," Said He "Couldn't Remember A Time UMWA Did Not Endorse A Presidential Candidate." "The 54-year-old Caputo, who grew up across the street from a coal plant near Fairmont in central West Virginia and has been in the coal industry virtually his whole life, said he couldn't remember a time UMWA did not endorse a presidential candidate. Caputo is a vice president on the UMWA's International Executive Board." (Amy Harder, "Coal Miners' Union Sits Out Presidential Race," National Journal, 8/9/12)

Caputo Said "Politically, The EPA Is The Culprit For The Coal Industry's Woes" And "The Coal Industry's Disgruntlement With Obama Is Plastered On Yard Signs And Billboards." "But politically, the EPA is the culprit for the coal industry's woes. Throughout Appalachia where Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia converge, the coal industry's disgruntlement with Obama is plastered on yard signs and billboards." (Amy Harder, "Coal Miners' Union Sits Out Presidential Race," National Journal, 8/9/12)

  • Caputo Said The Union's Leaders Have "Sent A Clear Message That They're Not Supportive Of The Environmental Rules That Are Being Put In Place." "'Our members count on coal-fired power plants and burning of coal to keep jobs,' Caputo said. 'We're a very Democratic union and we try to listen to the rank and file. They've sent a clear message that they're not supportive of the environmental rules that are being put in place.'" (Amy Harder, "Coal Miners' Union Sits Out Presidential Race," National Journal, 8/9/12)
  • "One Billboard Alongside A Freeway" Says "The Obama Administration's No Jobs Zone" And Some Yard Signs "Juxtapose The Word 'Coal' With 'Fire Obama.'" "One billboard alongside a freeway near the Pennsylvania and West Virginia border said drivers were entering 'The Obama administration's no jobs zone.' The billboard was sponsored by a coal-industry group, the Federation for American Coal, Energy, and Security (FACES of Coal). Yard signs seen along back roads and throughout towns juxtapose the word 'coal' with 'fire Obama.'" (Amy Harder, "Coal Miners' Union Sits Out Presidential Race," National Journal, 8/9/12)

UMWA President Cecil Roberts: "The Navy SEALs Shot Osama Bin Laden In Pakistan And [EPA Administrator] Lisa Jackson Shot Us In Washington." "'The Navy SEALs shot Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington,' Roberts said on a West Virginia radio show in April." (Amy Harder, "Coal Miners' Union Sits Out Presidential Race," National Journal, 8/9/12)

Roberts Endorsed Obama Four Years Ago, Saying That Obama "Understands That Coal Will Remain A Primary Source For Electricity Generation In This Country For Many Decades To Come."  "Roberts's comments illustrate how much has changed in just four years. In his ringing endorsement of Obama in 2008, Roberts said that Obama 'understands that coal will remain a primary source for electricity generation in this country for many decades to come.'" (Amy Harder, "Coal Miners' Union Sits Out Presidential Race," National Journal, 8/9/12)


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