Sunday, April 08, 2007


The AFL-CIO and other union organizations are flexing their tiny Colorado muscles to pressure the Democrats to pay more attention to them:

The nation's fractious labor movement has found common ground in Colorado, the newest battleground state for unions hoping to bolster their thinning ranks.

Leaders from opposing labor camps - the AFL-CIO and the breakaway group Change to Win - threaten to make trouble if the Democratic National Committee holds the 2008 convention in Denver's nonunionized Pepsi Center. Observers expect labor organizers to use the issue as leverage as they press the Democrats to help advance their ambitious union agendas.

Nationally, private sector union membership has fallen to about 7.4 percent, down from 7.8 percent at the end of 2005. While the public and private sectors combined have a higher percentage of workers in unions, Colorado lags the national average.

For some reason the reporter doesn't say what Colorado's percentages are: 5.3 percent in private industry, 7.7 percent combined. Nationally, combined public-private union membership is about 12 percent.

On the other hand, New York state, with 24.4 percent of its workforce unionized, has an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent--not too shabby; Colorado's, though, is an almost unbelievable 3.8 percent, more than a point lower.

Of course, that doesn't mean anything. As an academic quoted in the story points out, it's income disparity we're supposed to worry about now.

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