Despite they’re throwing 400,000 foot soldiers into the effort to re-elect Barack Obama, union bosses are apparently still seething at the DNC’s decision to hold its convention in a [gasp!] Right-to-Work state.
The boycott, according to USA Today, is hampering the DNC’s fundraising efforts.
Four years ago, unions accounted for five of the top 10 organizational donors to the Democrats’ convention in Denver, according to a tally by the non-profit Campaign Finance Institute.
“We feel that a better use of our members’ money would be spent on grassroots mobilization efforts this election cycle,” Jim Spellane, a spokesman for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said in an e-mail. In 2008, the union donated more than $1 million to help stage the Denver convention.
Last month, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka announced the union would not make any “major monetary” contributions to the convention.
To make matters worse for Democrat party planners, according to Newser, not only are unions boycotting the DNC’s convention, they held their own shadow convention in Philadelphia on Saturday, but several are also apparently planning to protest the progressive powwow in Charlotte.
Beyond the shadow convention in Philadelphia, several labor groups have said they plan to protest outside the Charlotte convention. On Monday, a group of unionized Charlotte city workers picketed city hall, as they plan to do every Monday this month.
Left-leaning union members are generally considered to be among the strongest pillars in the Democratic base, so images of them picketing the party’s big soiree has Republicans salivating. But political observers warn against reading too much into what is fundamentally a lover’s quarrel.
“The unions have to maintain face with their own membership after the party chose a right-to-work state to hold the convention, but in the end they aren’t going to abandon the Democrats,” said John Szmer, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. [Emphasis added.]
Although unions may be boycotting and even protesting the DNC convention in Charlotte, they are worried. As a result, AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka has vowed to send 400,000 union “volunteers” door-to-door to union and non-union homes on behalf of Barack Obama.
According to reports, the AFL-CIO’s home invasions visits begins on August 25th. The DNC’s convention is in early September.