Today in Labor History: September 16
Richard Trumka is elected president of the AFL-CIO at the federation’s convention in Pittsburgh. He had served as the secretary-treasurer under predecessor John Sweeney from 1995 to 2009, and prior to that was president of the United Mine Workers for 13 years – 2009
Member Tip: A Union’s Difficult Balancing Act
It can get a little complicated for the union to make decisions. It’s not uncommon to have situations where individuals or smaller groups within the bargaining unit have potentially conflicting interests. For example, two union-represented employees get into a fight. Each claims that the other started the fight. It can be hard for the union to sort out how to advocate for both of these union members’ interests at the same time. Just as the larger society makes decisions that balance the interests of different groups—whether it’s more fair to raise money by raising the income tax rate or the sales tax, for instance—so must our unions.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer