Saturday, February 5, 2011

Legislative & Labor Goals: 2011

As you may have heard, Punsxutawney Phil did not see his shadow this year, so it appears we are in for a little more winter before spring rolls around.  In similar fashion, President Obama did not see his shadow this past November, and it looks like we are in for at least two years of political winter.

Even with the House taking a hard right turn, we should not, as Dante said, "Abandon all hope, ye lost who enter here."  In fact, I believe that the labor community should push for the following incremental gains that I believe can be achieved:

1.  Striker Replacement Bill - This is an item that most of the GOP would rather have their granny kidnapped before they would support.  However, if the Democrats in the Senate wanted to, they could attach this item to the Senate version of any popular economic bill passed by the conservative House.  When the bill goes to conference, the GOP would have to pick between killing their very popular bill, or letting the striker replacement amendment through.  Obviously, it would be imperative to be wise with the bill selection.

2. Develop better relationships between union Locals and the University communities -  The SLAP(Student Labor Action Project) is a program designed to get students involved in the labor community.  Unfortunately, it has not been developed widely enough, and has not been integrated enough at the Local level.  Too often, we think of the University communities only at election time, and not enough on a regular basis for social action, etc.  One of the issues that kept surfacing during the AFL-CIO Young Workers' Summit last year was the fact that students are tired of the labor community(and the DNC, for that matter) only trotting them out when they need them for a general election or a photo shoot.  Students are both our future, and our most active participants.  Every union Local should have a liaison to the local youth and college communities.

More on this later.

In Solidarity,


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