The Hill reports:
LOS ANGELES — Resistance is growing among some unions against the AFL-CIO’s push to strengthen its bonds with liberal groups outside of labor.
Union leaders told The Hill that they have questions on how the nation’s largest federation plans to include environmental and civil society organizations under the AFL-CIO banner. Labor has sometimes clashed with groups — even if the two factions both often align with Democrats — as unions have looked to defend their members’ interests.
Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), said he sees “great value” in labor finding different groups to align with politically. But the federation needs to stick to representing workers rather than become a social movement itself, according to the union chief.
“However, to say that we are going to grow this labor movement by some kind of formal partnership, membership, status, place in this federation, I am against. This is the American Federation of Labor. We are supposed to be representing workers and workers’ interests,” Schaitberger said. “We are not going to be the American Federation of Progressive and Liberal Organizations.”
Others in labor, especially in the building and construction sectors, have aggressively pushed back against the proposal. Those unions have clashed repeatedly with environmental groups over building the Keystone XL pipeline.
“Does that mean we are going to turn energy policy of the AFL-CIO over to the Sierra Club? I have concern about that, as well as I should,” said Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA).
Heh. This comes on tops months of reports of strong disagreement among various union groups with big labor on the issue of ObamaCare — the full implementation of which some unions now publicly oppose.
Soooo, the union infighting continues. Pass the popcorn!