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UCOMM

Another brick in the wall

A recent news stories adds anxiety to a heated issue, but the band plays on

Kris LaGrange's picture
Oct 20, 2016

Commondreams.org is a progressive news website. It recently launched a story "exposing" the "rift" between the building trades and progressive unions like the CWA, ATU and the Nurses over the Dakota Pipeline. Later today UCOMM's Brian Young will be releasing the story in detail. To summarize, basically the building trades unions want and need the work and some unions don't want the project for environmental reasons. My question is this, how the F is this even a story? This is such a common occurrence that any seasoned unionist will just stop reading here. You see, the strength in the union movement is our diversity, or staunch and sometimes frustrating ability to agree to disagree without publicly imploding. In the ranks of labor, we have Democrats and some Republicans, we have all colors of the human race; organized labor has collective bargaining agreements in almost every type of job and each union approaches organizing, servicing and politics in their own unique way. But yet, when there are differences in opinions and approaches, multi-union organizations fight and in the end remain intact. We call them the AFL-CIO, area labor councils, trade councils, federations and CLC's. Some call themselves Associations. The mainstream media has been trying to figure out this amazing dynamic for years. Even people within these organizations still have not figured out how they are still keeping the lights on or even realize the immense magnitude of their accomplishments. When organized labor stops trying to find commonality, when they let outside interests influence their bottom line, that's when stupid things happen. Misguided politicians and journalist have tried in the past and most of them fail, but when the dust settles and the smoke clears, take a look around. Were you that unionist who knew what was happening while it was happening? If you were, did you pick up a brick to start building the organization back up again? Or did you hold a grudge and pick up that brick only to throw it?  We all are guilty of both, we all make mistakes. True power is realizing when those bricks are actually in our hands. 

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