(NaturalNews) Union membership, like factory employment, used to dominate the American labor market. But in the past couple of decades, union membership has declined dramatically, as has factory employment, the latter affected mostly by government policies (think NAFTA) that made it easier for companies to outsource American jobs to foreign countries.
Today, civilian union membership amounts to just over 11 percent of the total American labor force, and because leaders of the large unions have decided to hop in bed with Big Government more and more, membership is continuing to decline.
Take the decision by AFL-CIO thug-in-chief Richard Trumpka to help craft and support Obamacare. Because he threw the union's political weight - and the member's hard-earned dues - behind the passage of the worst, most intrusive and ultimately expensive piece of legislation passed in recent memory, his union is now shedding members like a dog sheds its winter coat in April.
'We feel the federation has done a great disservice...'
According to Breitbart News:
In what is being reported as a surprise move, the 40,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced that they have formally ended their association with the AFL-CIO, one of the nation's largest private sector unions. The Longshoremen cited Obamacare and immigration reform as two important causes of their disaffiliation.
In a letter to Trumpka, dated Aug. 29, ILWU President Robert McEllrath listed a number of complaints as reasons why he sought to dissolve his union's affiliation with the larger AFL-CIO. Prominent among them, however, was opposition to Obamacare.
"We feel the Federation has done a great disservice to the labor movement and all working people by going along to get along," McEllrath wrote.
McEllrath said his union backs the single-payer, nationalized healthcare policy - much of which is embodied by the Affordable Care Act - but said the ILWU was upset over the larger union's adherence with President Obama's confiscatory tax on their so-called "Cadillac" health plan.
"President Obama ran on a platform that he would not tax medical plans and at the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention, you stated that labor would not stand for a tax on our benefits," the leader of the Longshoremen wrote. However, regardless of his initial promise, Obama has nonetheless pushed for exactly that kind of tax, and Trumka has bowed down before the White House to line up in support of that tax.
Also in his letter, McEllrath said that his union members supported much more stringent immigration reform than the AFL-CIO - which is essentially supporting widespread amnesty, because Trumpka no doubt believes it will boost union membership (and to hell with what it does to the country).
More from Breitbart News:
One ILWU committeeman was even harsher on both the AFL-CIO and the President. ILWU Coast Committeeman Leal Sundet criticized the AFL-CIO telling LaborNotes.com that Trumka was marching "in lockstep" with Obama both on the "Cadillac healthcare tax" as well as immigration.
Sundet slammed Obama's immigration plan saying it is "designed to give [only] highly-paid workers a real path to citizenship."
Right now - in part because of declining U.S. factory output, but also because union leaders are supporting socialist progressive labor policies - private-sector union membership is at an all-time low.
In a recent interview broadcast by C-SPAN, Trumpka admitted there were "mistakes" made with Obamacare but said that he still supports the law overall and that it merely needed to be "tweaked" in order to be made better.
Trumpka referred to problems with Obamacare - and they are legion - as "inadvertent," though again, he and the AFL-CIO, as well as the rest of Big Labor, were in on the authorship of the law. Sources:
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