by Kevin “Coach” Collins
When the UAW failed miserably in Chattanooga and was not able to unionize the Volkswagen plant, even with a staked deck, it started a chain reaction and the next domino has fallen. The news that the AFL-CIO has decided to keep its money and not even try to save three Southern Democrat Senators comes as no real shock.
The powerful union reviewed the polls and the political climate in North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas and decided backing the Democrats in these states would be throwing good money after bad. The decision left Democratic Senators Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, and Kay Hagan in North Carolina on their own with little major union help as they try to hold on to their seats in a region that is increasingly hostile to Democrats, especially those who are backed by unions.
Despite an AFL-CIO spokesman’s attempt to put the best face on the news, his words ring hollow. He said, “Those states are states where we have relatively low union density. I think you’ll see in other battleground Senate states like Michigan, Alaska, [and] Iowa a really vigorous union program.”
The numbers of union workers in the conservative right-to-work South show that while union membership nationwide is at roughly 11.3% of the workforce, in the three states the AFL-CIO is conceding it stands at just 5 percent.
According to available records the three Democrats have received only minimal financial support from labor unions. Pryor has received just $186,000; Landrieu has gotten $166,000 and Hagan’s war chest includes just $74,000. Even in small media markets this is pocket change.
Grasping at straws, the president of Arkansas’s AFL-CIO offered nothing more than a numbers trick when he summed up Mark Pryor’s chances for union volunteers to work for his re-election, “I think if you go back and look at some of the numbers, how close the races are, we say we have 32,000 members but you could say it’s 64,000 because of spouses. I think we can still make an impact, especially doing ground work.”
Taking back America must start with a series of firm initial steps. Forcing Big Labor to run up a white flag over Dixie is an excellent beginning.