Monday, July 15, 2013

The Patients are Dying

At the last several AFM conventions, the International Executive Board has recommended (1) reducing union democracy by making conventions more infrequent; and (2) increasing dues.

This year is no different. These recommendations are designed to squeeze more dollars from members, but provide no benefit or hope to the rank and file membership. Instead, they are a sign of a union in decline.

For such recommendations to be taken seriously, they must be accompanied by a sense of urgency regarding our shrinking locals, fleeing membership, and slow but imminent collapse.

While I believe our leadership understands what is really happening to the Federation, it is wrong to propose such desperate and demoralizing medicine without providing an antidote: a comprehensive plan for the future.

There is enthusiasm and intelligence in this union. I respectfully propose that to earn passage of these recommendations, the President and Executive Board must create a diverse commission of members to study and formulate a new structure and plan for the next generation of the AFM.

If we convention delegates do not force leadership to confront the issues, we will continue to see dues increases and convention cuts until there are no members left to pay.