William Lucy, a rival to AFSCME boss Gerald “the Mouth” McEntee, and a career union boss is retiring as AFSCME’s Secretary-Treasurer. As a black American, Lucy is co-founder of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists where he remains President.
In These Times has an interesting article on Lucy, which is part history-part telephone interview. In the article, Lucy talks about diversity in the union movement, his fights against McEntee’s pick for his replacement, as well as his desire for higher taxes and, of course, those racist Tea Partiers.
“Nobody wants to pay more taxes,” he says, “but the public sector is needed to jump start the private economy. In the long run the stimulus will provide some relief, but there may be need for another stimulus.” And generating more good jobs in turn makes the public sector viable by producing more tax revenue. “What we need are good jobs with high wages and good benefits, not more minimum wage jobs,” Lucy says. “I would argue we need a high-wage recovery.”
On the whole, Lucy argues Obama has done a good job under the circumstances with a crisis-ridden economy and an obstructionist Republican faction in Congress, but he was upset by Obama’s public support for the Central Falls, Rhode Island, school superintendent’s dismissal of teachers when he failed to reach an agreement with the union.
Now public sector unions face not just efforts to contract out or privatize public functions but also right-wing campaigns to shrink government and its responsibilities. Most middle-class and working-class voters are, Lucy contends, more rational about the value of public services than somewhat more affluent Tea Party supporters, who include a large element who “are just about as racist as you can get.”
Apparently, Lucy is as out of touch with America as the rest of his fellow union bosses. He, like others, believes that those ‘racist’ Tea Partiers don’t like bigger (and bankrupt) government and higher taxes because they’re ‘rich’ on top of being racist.
Goodbye, Mr. Lucy. Perhaps you should have finished cleaning your own racist house before casting stones.