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Massachusetts Progressive Politics and other news of the world

 

Labor and Progressives


This important post on the House of Labor blog hilights the growing disconnect between organized labor and the progressive movement:
There are myriad reasons for labor's weakness, and many of these reasons have been cited here and elsewhere. But one of the reasons that is rarely discussed is that many in the non-union portion of the liberal left decided years ago to simply give up on organized labor. Union issues became unfashionable.
At a recent meeting of PDM a labor activist we invited spoke of the importance of building capacity in times of low power. He suggested that the best way was helping to pass card-check legislation.

I also want to mention that two of our local PDM chapter's on-going electoral campaigns are for progressives with strong labor ties. In 2004, we helped elect PDM member, Peter Vickery, to the Governor's council. He's a UAW member and lists pro-Union in his tagline. In 2005, we are helping PDM member Pat Duffy in the Holyoke City Council race. She's a former labor organizer for both the SEIU and UAW -- from the first paragraph in her bio:
Pat Duffy has worked for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the Holyoke-based United Auto Workers Local 2322. Both jobs require a deep and ever-growing knowledge of business, government, law, contracts, and the social and economic needs of people who work for a living.

She has been privileged to work with people at all levels of society -- business and labor leaders, local and state elected officials, and regular folks, working hourly wage jobs, struggling to make a living. She has the knowledge and the ability to work with everyone to make Holyoke a better place.
But this is something progressives need to work at and should be near the top of our list when evaluating candidates.