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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Chamber of Commerce War Against Working People

According to the AFL CIO Now blog, the local Findlay Chamber of Commerce, in an outburst of incredible mean spiritedness, pressured the mayor of a small Ohio town, Findlay, into canceling a parade whose sole purpose had been to celebrate the spirit of American commerce and manufacturing and to highlight American made products like Harley Davidson motorcycles. The reason for the cancellation?

The event had been organized by local unions. Featuring the big bikes and also antique cars, the event was to highlight the quality of American made - and Ohio made products, and to encourage residents to buy Ohio. But the Chamber pressured Findlay's mayor, Peter Sehnert into canceling the parade completely. Sadly, politics also reared its ugly head in the decision. Here's the money quote:
“Basically, Findlay’s a non-union, Republican area and mostly what we had were Democratic speakers and union people,” Sehnert said. “It’s not what I had in mind.”
According to the AFL-CIO blog,

Someone could infer from Sehnert’s statement that a pro-America, buy-America celebration isn’t supported by Republicans. Because the Greater Findlay Chamber of Commerce rejected an event that would have opened with a parade of U.S.-made, union-made Harley-Davidsons and classic American autos driving down Main Street, alongside floats showcasing American-made products. Speakers would have included U.S. Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Betty Sutton, the state attorney general and state treasurer. Blatt says Gov. Ted Strickland was thinking of speaking as well.
Look, labor and management have real differences and while there is understandably an adversarial relationship, there should be more things that bring them together than separate them. It's possible to find common ground. For example, no union wants business to fail. No reasonable person wants that, if for no other reason, rational self-interest. Without healthy, thriving businesses, there would be no jobs. So, unions are not out to destroy commerce or manufacturing. And this event was set up precisely to find the common ground and celebrate what businessmen and businesswomen and union men and union women have in common, the desire for a thriving economy and a good business climate.

What they should be fighting about is better wages versus holding down costs, safe working conditions versus efficiency, etc. In other words, there are issues where both sides can and should negotiate. But there is one area where there is no equivalency. Unions do not want to destroy business or chambers of commerce.

But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and groups like Right to Work in Virginia do want to destroy labor. They are engaged in nothing less than a war against working people.


J. Tyler Ballance said...

If George Meany, or Walter P. Reuther were still in charge of the AFL-CIO, the workers would have marched anyway.

What has become of the union leaders with cojones?

The workers ARE America!

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

I agree that workers are American. And with Rich Trumka waiting in the wings to be the next president of the AFL-CIO, I suspect you will see a return of labor leaders with - dare I say it - balls!

Pastor Mike said...

Down here in Hampton Roads (Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Hampton etc) the Chamber of Commerce is very vocal about raising taxes. They're for any proposal that will raise taxes on the working people, but will fight tooth and nail against anything that will cost them a dime. They were big supporters of the regional taxing authorities which the state supreme court found "unconstitutional"! The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce isn't even run by business people. The people who run it are professional Chamber solicitors! Too much!