I hear that this morning at a special meeting of the Executive Council (which started at the ungodly hour of 7:30 a.m...ungodly for those who have been out late at night and up early in the a.m...), a motion was passed to add 4 cents to the per capita rate of the affiliates that would be specifically targeted to support Central Labor Councils and state federations that will need financial support to make up for the money lost because of the disaffiliation of the SEIU and Teamsters.
This comes as I hear of an increasing groundswell from the CLCs to form their own network. They've collected a list of e-mails that goes 18 pages long and are planning on setting up a listserv to communicate amongst themselves. I wrote about the agitation that started pre-convention.
The word is also out on the floor that the Federation's officers are doing their best to squelch any move on the part of CLCs and State Federations to allow SEIU and Teamsters' locals to remain inside the local FEderation structures. National presidents have been dispatched to put out the word: if you let SEIU and the Teamsters stay in, our locals will disaffiliate from those bodies...or the central labor body president who does not shun the disaffiliated local will be unelected....
I repeat my consistent mantra--this is absurd, it's unnecessary punishment and it's the classic "cut your nose off to spite your face." Lord, if a union wants to support a local council with its good money and energy, why not let 'em.
The extra four cents comes just as the Federation convention will debate this afternoon Resolution 14, which I wrote about extensively this past weekend; the amendment to the Constitution was introduced by the Change To Win coalition and it would allow unaffiliated, legitimate labor bodies, to belong to Federation central labor councils and state federations. This has been a challenge to Sweeney's position that unaffiliated locals may not participate in the Federation's local bodies. It will be interesting to see whether the Laborers or Farmworkers--the only two coalition unions to decide to attend the convention--send anyone to the microphones to advocate for the amendment's adoption.
I doubt it passes but the debate but it might be a gauge to see whether there is indeed widespread unhappiness among local labor bodies. In any event, the extra four cents per capita proposal will try to smooth some of those ruffled feathers.
And Jesse Jackson is in the background, exhorting people to reach out and work together..."Keep Hope Alive"...standing ovation.