Howard Fineman’s take on the divisions in the AFL-CIO.
The House of Labor is divided against itself, and it’s not clear it can stand. For reasons of philosophy, money and ego—the Potomac power mix—the slice of America that used to be called "Big Labor" may soon collapse. A breakup would have broad implications in the workplace, pitting one set of unions, and one vision of unionism, against another. In politics, it would create competing spheres with one of them—the renegades—more willing to work with Republicans and more focused on organizing drives than on electoral politics. "In terms of Democratic politics, it’s a disaster," says Rick Sloan, the Machinists communications director. "It would eviscerate our ground capabilities in ways Karl Rove and Tom DeLay will try to exploit."