Solidarity Later?

By Molly Ivins, AlterNet

Solidarity Forev ... ooops, make that Solidarity Later.

Organized labor is weak, but unorganized labor is a hell of a lot weaker. That's what's splitting the AFL-CIO. You may think this is none of your beeswax, but if you work in this country, you owe labor, big time. And I'm talking to you, white-collar worker.

This is not about the old stuff -- 40-hour workweek, unemployment insurance, health benefits, safety regs, etc. This is about right now, today. The money that controls this administration is out to screw you -- it's your pension on the line, your salary on the line and your job on the line. If your company can replace you cheaper, you are gone, buddy. And this administration is pushing jobs overseas just as fast as it can.

The split is not a case of good guys versus bad guys -- it's good guys versus (we hope) some better guys.

John Sweeney, current head of the AFL-CIO, is not only one of the world's nicest people, he's also pretty damn tough. Sweeney and his team have been fighting like pit bulls, but the deck is increasingly stacked against them. (How's that for mixing metaphors?) Since the Republicans have taken over the executive branch, myriad executive orders, administrative changes and the stacking the National Labor Relations Board have quietly been implemented. The result is that organized labor is now hemorrhaging.