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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Hail and farewell

What sets Robert Haynes apart from the Wall Street types that he battles is the Massachusetts AFL-CIO boss knows when he's no longer doing a good job and walks away.

This has not been a good year for Haynes, who loudly and vociferously opposed changes in the rules governing what local municipal employees pay for their health insurance. After years of trying to work out their differences at the table, House and Senate leaders this year finally said enough.

Add the embarrassment that Haynes was pulling down another $72,000 to sit on a non-profit board -- of a company whose business is selling health insurance -- and the need for him to step aside became overwhelmingly obvious.

Haynes' bluster is a throw back to another time for labor, one which has come and gone. The fact that labor's clout has diminished at a time when we need a countervailing force to the greed that dominates Wall Street and its Republican enablers is not just sad, it's a bit terrifying.

But it is that diminished clout which suggests it's time for labor to go back to its own table and come up with new strategies and tactics for defending working men and women that reflect the realities of the 21st Century and not the glories of the 20th Century.

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Anonymous GhostOfTyrone said...

Strikes come to mind.

June 01, 2011 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are living in well connected world, with products able to make their way from producer to consumer in a trivial amount of time. The best export we could make at this time is the "strike minded" union organizer to empower the masses overseas. Until overseas manufacturers are saddled with the regulation we face here they will always be a cheaper work force. NAFTA and other arrangements will drive down the quality of life for average workers in this country for generations, and our economy will suffer since the quality of life for the low level workers are the foundation for the rest of you in the uppercrust. My company produces raw materials (through subsidiaries) that are toxic and dangerous to work with, but the Chinese are happy to have the work, even though it will shorten their life spans by a decade.

June 02, 2011 8:55 AM  
Anonymous GhostOfTyrone said...

I wonder how much a Chinese guillotine costs.

June 02, 2011 12:20 PM  

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