(NNPA) Yes, this is certainly a milestone for unions. For decades they have shoved money under the noses of Black elected officials and their bidding was represented by such officials, despite the policy being against Black interests, employment, and the well being of the entire Black community. Some unions like the UAW, Steelworkers, Communication Workers, and Postal Workers have enjoyed participation of Black employees and the harmony of the Black community. However, we cannot look at this in such a collective manner; the construction unions among others have been racist, Jim Crow, and predatory on the Black working class and the Black community as a whole. They have bought off national organizations before, but never have they owned someone at the White House. JFK, Nixon, and Clinton have made deals with them but not a carte blanche takeover of the U.S. labor market. Despite the racial animist of some of these major union segments President Obama has opened all the doors to them and we, Black people, are at an incredible risk.
It’s as if President Obama is in charge of the labor movement. When his people are presented with the facts that Black employment, especially Black business, will suffer under this policy, they just don’t care. They more or less say “so what”. Black business owners and Black workers, there is a “Darth Vader” sitting in the White House and he isn’t White. Blacks are at the bottom rung of every economic statistic in our nation and he is aiming to make it worse. We have unemployment approaching 30% and he smiles as his policies aim to make it more than 50%. Don’t count on the Congressional Black Caucus to deal with him on this issue as 80% have conceded and will march behind him simply because of their allegiance to the party. Many will have their political careers spiral into oblivion during the next few election cycles, but they are willing to go down for this disgusting and treasonous cause.
An example of this cavalier attitude against Blacks and Hispanics in favor of unions was the Chicago Olympic Proposal. It was so rich in Union only projects known as Project Labor Agreements that it was clear Black and Hispanic employment would not reach 10% in the construction of the Olympics in a town that is 55% Black and Hispanic. The proposal was replete with the destruction of various Black and Hispanic neighborhoods for the sake of real estate investors and the greedy unions. It stunk and the Brazilian Olympic Committee noticed it immediately. They put out the word throughout the National Olympic Committee officials. When the competition started they couldn’t wait to disqualify the U.S. proposal because of the racial and cultural damage it would do to the city of Chicago. It was the most shameful moment for the U.S. in the history of the World Olympics.
Equally disgusting is President Obama’s Southern Strategy. Like Ronald Reagan’s strategy before him, he has decided to disregard the well being of southern Blacks and find any kind of way to let unions into the southern labor market and then allow them to work and organize political cells for his political future. Yes, the South has been mostly Right to Work states, which do not allow union only projects. Consequently, Black employment in construction is three times higher in the South than in states that allow Union Only projects. President Obama wants to destroy that so that his union cronies will be happy.
He is secretly working on major projects in the South, such as nuclear facilities, that will create many high paying jobs. As he maneuvers to make this happen, he will declare these mighty projects Union Only. Thus he would bring his union cronies from the North into the southern market and transfer his northern union workers to come and organize local union shops and help proselytize Democratic Party policies and candidates. In other words, he wants to turn the “Red States” of the South into “Blue States” for the benefit of unions and his party and to the detriment of Blacks and long–term White residents. Yes, he wants to turn the South into Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago , etc. with its sky high Black and Hispanic unemployment, but also with union largesse that feeds the pockets of his party.
America, your President is wrong on this one and it will hurt your children, grandchildren, and destroy your legacy. The time has come to say “It was nice that you are Black but destroying our economic base is not in the deal. Straighten up or check out.” I know it hurts but wrong is wrong and we must be strong enough to fight wrong whenever it comes before us and by whoever presents it. Your future depends on it.
Mr. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (r). Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: email@example.com