Jim Kouri
Labor unions in full force at Democratic National Convention
By Jim Kouri
September 6, 2012

As the Democratic Party conducts its official business at the convention in North Carolina, union officials and delegates from labor organizations in both the private and public sectors descended on the city of Charlotte in large numbers that included stalwarts such as SEIU's Andy Stern and AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka.

The goal of labor leaders is, of course, the re-election of President Barack Obama, but it's also about garnering more power in order to increase its membership numbers. For example, while unions have requested waivers for Obamacare, they were completely onboard with passing the unpopular health care law for Americans.

Stern, Trumka and others hope to expand Obamacare to the point that larger numbers of health care workers will translate into larger numbers of government union members. And these labor leaders have their sights on workers in China, India and other successful economies.

But the story doesn't end there, according to political strategist and attorney Michael Baker in an Examiner exclusive: while U.S. labor unions complain about corporations "going global and sending jobs overseas," it may escape notice that American union members are being sacrificed for the good of a world labor consortium, according to a Washington, D.C. source.

On more than one occasion, the head of the Service Employees International Union, Andy Stern, has uttered the Marxist battle cry, "Workers of the world unite!" And he's been hard at work making that vision a reality in these troubled economic times, notes Michael Baker.

To American labor leaders, the United States is merely the "home office," according to Baker. "The loss of union jobs in the United States has forced the labor movement to turn their sights on increasingly successful nations such as China, India and elsewhere. We're talking tens of millions of potential union members and billions of union dues largess."

In 2010, when Chinese President Hu Jintao made a rare visit to Chicago, Teamsters Joint Council 25 had already met and signed an official memorandum of exchange and cooperation with the Shangdong Provincial Federation of Trade Unions of China (SPFTU), according to political science professor Wilson Davis.

The Teamsters, including Joint Council 25 President John T. Coli, welcomed five delegates from the SPFTU to Chicago in September 2010 to sign the agreement in an effort to promote more cooperation between organized labor in China and the United States.

"President Jintao's visit to Chicago... is a reminder that real opportunities exist to improve communication and understanding between our nations," said Coli at the time. "Teamsters in Illinois have taken a major step towards global cooperation to work with a labor movement that brings its own ideas and challenges to the table. It's about time we recognize the progress that can be made for workers in America and around the world."

Representatives from Joint Council 25 and the SPFTU will begin making biennial visits between China and the United States as part of the agreement. The union leaders claim delegations will share views and common concerns on a variety of labor issues, including the benefits of collective bargaining and protection for workers' rights. The unions expect to share information on organizing and management techniques, and will be looking for new opportunities to support and communicate with workers, noted Baker.

"Joint Council 25 and the SPFTU will examine the obstacles all workers face in the fight to organize and negotiate contracts with their employers," said Coli in a press statement. "Every day, the Teamsters negotiate powerful contracts and bargain for more rights and benefits for our members. In this same vein, we have to find a way to ensure representation exists for the millions of workers beyond our borders who deserve these same protections."

"We can do neither until we start communicating with each other," he said.

In September 2011, members of the American Joint Council 25's executive board met with Wang Lihua, Vice-Chairwoman of the SPFTU, and Li Yueliang, First Vice-Chairman of the Yantai City Federation of Trade Unions, among other Chinese labor officials.

Shangdong is China's second-most populous province, home to approximately 95 million people. Agriculture, mining and petroleum industries are large components of the regional economy, although Shangdong's industrial production surpasses most other Chinese cities. The province produces some of the most well-known Chinese brand names, including Tsingtao beer and Haier and Hisense electronics and appliances, according to records.

A memorandum of understanding similar to Joint Council 25's agreement was signed between Change to Win and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions. Change to Win's claim to fame is its ongoing attacks — with the help of the Democrat Party — against Walmart.

"American workers who are depending on unions for job security and better work conditions are oblivious to their unions' leaders who have a hidden — and sometimes not so hidden — agenda that includes fulfilling the dream of 'workers of the world unite,'" said Baker.

"And it doesn't hurt the Democrats to have such a coalition funneling money into their coffers for future elections," he noted.

"And that brings us full circle," according to white-collar crime expert Lucas Terrencia, a former federal investigator. The Obama EPA gives China millions of dollars for a 'green' project. The Chinese bring in a unionized company represented by the American-Chinese Labor Coalition. The U.S. labor leaders bring home their share of union dues and contribute millions of dollars to the Democrats."

"It's the Chicago Way on steroids," he said.

© Jim Kouri


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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


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