Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

A good man is hard to find. . . or keep.

Joe Sestak

Joe Sestak

It’s that time again.  Endorsements are beginning to roll in as unions position themselves for the 2010 election cycle.

From Teamsters’ press releases:

  • “Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today announced the union’s endorsement of Democrat Steve Shannon for attorney general of Virginia as the best candidate to improve the commonwealth’s economy. . .  H. Joseph Ayers, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Joint Council 83 in Richmond [said] “Our union is confident that Shannon will hold businesses accountable for their actions, ensuring that workers are not misclassified and contracts are awarded fairly.”‘
  • “Today Teamsters Joint Council 32 officially endorsed Tarryl Clark, candidate for Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District. The vote was unanimous by the Teamsters Joint Council DRIVE Commission and immediately affirmed by the Joint Council Executive Board. The early endorsement commits one of the largest labor organizations in Minnesota for an anticipated hard-fought battle for a Congressional District that has heavy Union propensity. “We will do everything in our power to assure that workers in Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District will finally have a voice that understands what the real issues are that affect working families,” Sue Mauren, Teamsters Joint Council 32 President said.”

And from the Wall Street Journal two weeks ago, regarding Arlen Specter’s seat:

  • “One hurdle arose Tuesday when Rep. Joe Sestak, a 57-year-old former Navy admiral, announced he will run against Mr. Specter in the Democrats’ Pennsylvania primary next May.  The matchup is likely to be among the most closely watched and expensive in the nation. Some Democrats, including union leaders, suggest they prefer the more-liberal Mr. Sestak. . . Some labor leaders in Pennsylvania aren’t yet sold and say they would consider backing Mr. Sestak after years supporting Mr. Specter as a Republican. Voters from union households hold big sway in the state, accounting for about three in 10 Democratic voters last November, according to exit polls. “Maybe it’s time for a true Democrat,” said Bill George, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. He said unions had supported Mr. Specter in the past because there was no better candidate. Over a roast beef sandwich and Tater Tots at the Dodge City Restaurant event, Michael J. Fedor, an AFL-CIO representative in central Pennsylvania, said union members would be watching to see how Mr. Specter “behaves.””

Both EFAC and health care reform have made enemies of politicians once assumed to be relatively in line with (or at least traditional sympathizers of) the union political agenda.

Categories: AFL-CIOEFACNewsSEIUTeamsters