From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
By Jaclyn Diaz
The AFL-CIO selected a former DNC staffer to head its new political campaign division, and she’ll be focusing on the 2018 midterm elections first.
The federation, which represents 55 affiliate unions, is making a long-term investment in elections through its Mobilization Hub, Julie Greene, its first chief, said.
The AFL-CIO says it will support political candidates, no matter the party, whose platform is based on supporting working people. The department will also recruit and train affiliate union members to run for office.
“We have a big task at hand. This is not just about 2018 or 2020, this is about building power for the long term. And building it for working people. That’s the machine we’re trying to build. It’s not about what happens in 10 months or what happens in 2018. It’s for the long haul,” said Greene, who previously held leadership positions at the Democratic National Committee.
The AFL-CIO may say it won’t automatically support the establishment Democratic candidate, but that’s unlikely, said F. Vincent Vernuccio, a senior fellow at the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
“If they’re lockstep in supporting the policies and politics of the past, that doesn’t really change much,” he said.
The federation has largely supported Democrats in the past. This focus on independent political mobilization comes after the election of President Donald Trump, which surprised many.
The AFL-CIO endorsed Hillary Clinton, and CNN’s exit polling found Clinton won union households 51 percent to 48 percent. Still, Trump received a higher percentage of union votes than Republicans received in the past.
But Vernuccio remains skeptical.
“I would be surprised if the AFL-CIO gave less than 9-to-1 support to Democrats over Republicans. Ninety percent of their support goes to Democrats,” he said.
The Hub will use its resources to back union-supportive candidates for the congressional midterms. Beyond 2018, it will recruit and educate union members interested in running for office at all levels of government, Greene said.
“No one’s going to know the plight of working people like another working person. No one’s going to know the issues union members are facing like another union member,” Greene said of labor candidates. “You’ve got union members all across the country, even around the globe, who are interested in running. But first we have to identify who they are and where they are.”
Affiliate members will help identify the prospective labor candidates and train them on the ins and outs of campaigning. New candidates often need help figuring out who to hire for the campaign, how to fund raise, and how to explain local issues to their constituents in a meaningful way, Greene said.
“If we do it right and we do it well, which we will, we’re going to win,” she said.
The AFL-CIO started forming the Hub in 2017 during the beginning of its still-ongoing reorganization, which has included layoffs and department consolidation. Roughly 75 staffers will report to Greene, but that number can grow as the federation expands campaign efforts, an AFL-CIO representative told Bloomberg Law.
The Hub is the largest department at the AFL-CIO. It’s financed through the federation budget, but the AFL-CIO wouldn’t divulge how much the organization is spending to fund it. Costs vary depending on elections, current campaigns, and affiliate needs.
Greene said she believes the AFL-CIO would have sought these changes even if the 2016 election had turned out differently.
“Maybe it’s accelerated the timeline of us being here, but absolutely,” she said. “Administrations flip every four years, every eight years, but one thing that’s constant is that labor is under assault.”
Greene returns to the federation after working as director of the DNC’s Office of Democratic National Committee Leadership. Previously, she was deputy political director for the AFL-CIO.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)