LaborTalk for March 2, 2012

We Invite Trumka's Supporters to Occupy
Our Space to Praise His Leadership Record

By Harry Kelber

In his position as president of the AFL-CIO, "Rich" Trumka has been the target of much criticism, whether justified or not. For reasons of his own, Trumka has chosen not to respond to these attacks. But because of his self-imposed silence, we know very little about the problems he has faced and his behind-the-scenes accomplishments.

To remedy this lack of information, and in the spirit of fairness, we are inviting Trumka's supporters to tell LaborTalk readers why they believe he has been doing a great job for the millions of workers he speaks for.

Accordingly, we are setting up a special file to contain the comments of those union members who have favorable things to say about Brother Trumka, who has been head of the AFL-CIO since September 2009 and who served as the Federation's secretary-treasurer for eight years before that. We will print pro-Trumka comments in their original form.

We will accept letters in Trumka's behalf from March 1 to March 31, with an opportunity for an extended dialogue. Each e-mail comment should be addressed to "The Labor Educator." ( and should contain the name and e-mail address of its author. (Keep e-mails to 250 words, maximum)

It would be interesting and useful if we could get letters from major sectors within the AFL-CIO, including working women, retirees and various ethnic and minority union members.

AFL-CIO's Future Depends on Free and Open Communication

We believe that by opening up the lines of communication between the AFL-CIO's leaders and its millions of members, we can help to rebuild the Federation into the powerhouse it was some fifty years ago.

Especially in the 21st century, "Knowledge is Power," and we, at the Labor Educator, are committed to keeping members informed about the complex events that are confronting working people.

* * * * *

It has become obvious that Corporate America, with its rightwing allies, is determined to wipe out our unions or damage them so badly that they have no effective influence in dealing with the complex domestic and global policies confronting our nation.

To safeguard our unions, we need a harmonious, trusting relationship between our leaders and millions of members. The AFL-CIO can make an important contribution by restoring its Education Department, which it eliminated more than a decade ago in an economy move.

How about a poll of union members?

LaborTalk will be posted here on March 6, 2012 and on our two web sites and on

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