Political Rumblings

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about union bosses being dissatisfied with the progress of unions under Democrat administrations.

The article reports:

The growing rift between labor and their Democratic allies was on full display Thursday, as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters that labor groups are planning to scale back their involvement with the Democratic Party in advance of the 2012 elections.

Going forward, Trumka said, the labor movement will build up its own political structures and organizations rather than contribute to and depend on the Democratic Party’s political operation. …

Labor has traditionally been a major contributor to Democratic candidates and causes around the country. Trumka said that their outside effort will help keep union-backed candidates more accountable for promises made on the campaign trail.

“Let’s assume we spent $100 in the last election,” he said, explaining the union’s position.

“The day after Election Day, we were no stronger than we were the day before,” said Trumka. “If we had spent that [$100] on creating a structure for working people that would be there year round, then we are stronger.”

What is this really about? The unions have spent a tremendous amount of money supporting Democrat candidates. Unions accounted for three of the top five high-spending outside groups in the 2010 election cycle. Needless to say, they were not as successful as they had hoped. Because of problems with union pension funds, unions need labor-friendly politicians in power to keep them going. Unions depend on growth in membership to keep funding their pension plans so that the members who have paid in over the years will get paid the pensions they were promised. According to the Pension Protection Act of 2006, pension plans whose funding levels are below 80 per cent are considered endangered, and plans whose funding levels are below 65 per cent are considered in critical condition.

It was reported in rightwinggranny.com on March 2, 2010:

“The SEIU National Industry pension fund is right at the 65% mark. The Newspaper Guild’s plan is at 62.8%, which is interesting in that newspapers seem uninterested in reporting on the problem. Sheet Metal Workers National is only funded to 38%.” 

This is a ponzi scheme. Unless the unions drastically increase their membership in the very near future, their pension funds will run out of money. It will be interesting to see exactly what the unions do in 2012. Strong union support of candidates who are not traditional Democrats could create a huge problem for the Democrats in national and local elections.


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