Opinion: Big labor could use some love

By Juan Williams – 09/04/12 05:00 AM ET

It was so quiet yesterday at the 2012 Democratic National Convention site that the media focused on street protests.

Big Labor is joining Occupy Wall Street protests to send a message to President Obama and the Democrats: If you win the election in November, it will largely be because of our efforts — and you will owe us.

It is no secret that the labor unions are livid at the Democrats for holding their convention in North Carolina, a right-to-work state where only 2.9 percent of the workforce is unionized — the lowest in the entire nation.

The actual venue for the convention, the Time Warner Cable Arena, was constructed with non-union labor and uses non-union workers.

Not a single hotel in Charlotte, where the convention speakers and attendees will be staying, has unionized workers. Continue reading “Opinion: Big labor could use some love”

Public union’s political director: Members to be ‘pivotal’ for Dems in Midwest races

By Kevin Bogardus – 09/02/12 06:00 AM ET

The political director for the nation’s largest public sector union said its members will prove “pivotal” in Midwestern swing states – including Wisconsin — for President Obama and Democrats come the November elections.

Brian Weeks, as the new political director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), told The Hill that state-level battles over public workers’ collective bargaining rights have fired up the union’s members for the fall campaign.

“It’s definitely one of the areas where we will be pivotal. We have a lot of membership in those Rust Belt states,” Weeks said. “The battles our members fought in Ohio, Wisconsin as well as Michigan have kept them engaged and ready for these coming elections.”

Weeks has been on the job for about a month after stepping into the shoes of Larry Scanlon, who retired earlier this year after spending nearly 17 years as AFSCME’s political director.  Continue reading “Public union’s political director: Members to be ‘pivotal’ for Dems in Midwest races”