Shortly after news broke that several unions - including the Teamsters - may sit out the 2012 Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina comes news that the AFL-CIO will not be supporting the Democratic Party as heavily in the next election cycle.
The growing rift between labor and their Democratic allies was on full display Thursday, as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters that labor groups are planning to scale back their involvement with the Democratic Party in advance of the 2012 elections.
Going forward, Trumka said, the labor movement will build up its own political structures and organizations rather than contribute to and depend on the Democratic Party's political operation.
"We're going to use a lot of our money to build structures that work for working people" Trumka said. "You're going to see us give less money to build structures for others, and more of our money will be used to build our own structure."
Trumka's remarks follow the news that the AFL-CIO will set up a so-called super PAC, allowing the nation's largest labor federation to spend unlimited amounts of money on political activity for next year's elections and beyond.
North Carolina is a right-to-work state with the least amount of union members in the country thanks to several restrictive laws. None of the hotels where attendees would be staying are unionized. Most of the unions threatening to boycott the conference are part of the AFL-CIO's building and construction area. The convention is scheduled to start on Labor Day.
(Photo credit: Bill Burke/Page One via AFL-CIO)