Here is a link to a useful summary of the current debate inside the AFL-CIO about its future. And below that is my comment submitted in response to the article. This debate will likely simmer for the next few months and, hopefully, emerge in a constructive discussion at the AFL-CIO convention this July in Chicago.
Christopher Hayes mars an otherwise useful summary of the current debate in the AFL-CIO by concluding that the point is not keeping the AFL-CIO together. This is a naieve and dangerous sentiment. It echoes the threat made by the SEIU to withdraw from the federation if Andy Stern did not get his way in the current debate – an odd sentiment considering he is at the same time arguing for more centralization in organized labor. Opening the door to such centrifugal forces threatens one of the core strengths of American labor – which with 13 million members remains the largest best organized independent isntitution in American political life and thus, by definition, a crucial force for strengthening democracy in an era of global multinational capital and unprecedented exercise of state military power.