In a failed attempt to make unions look mainstream for Americans and American labor today, the AFL-CIO put together a Hug-A-Union Thug booth at the Democratic National Convention (DNC), in an attempt to spin their recent run of violence and failures in the Wisconsin and other states arouind the country.
Photo from the AFL-CIO
In Charlotte, people will be asked to “hug a union thug” at a CarolinaFest booth sponsored by the North Carolina State AFL-CIO the day before the Democratic National Convention officially begins. Also in honor of Monday, videos are being posted online thanking workers, while actors and athletes will use Twitter to express support for union rights.
During the Great Depression, unions became associated with Communism and the Communist party, as depicted in literature such as In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck.
Moving into the 1960's and 70's, unions began to take on a darker persona with their affiliations with organized crime, and politics. The Jimmy Hoffa incident was a prime example of the ultimate goals of union leadership, which is money and political power.
In this decade, unions have become a stigma in the eyes of many Americans, especially during a time of massive unemployment since the credit crash of 2008. The childish antics of union workers and teachers in Wisconsin, which led to millions of dollars worth of damage to public buildings, shows the lengths that unions will go to force taxpayers to pay massive salaries and benefits, even while they lose their homes and barely sustain a living in an era of high unemployment.
The Hug a Union Thug booth created at the 2012 DNC is not only a farce, but an open slap in the face to those who see unions more as thieves and robbers of economic and fiscal growth, than as simple workers who want to stand together against the power of corporate and government control over money and jobs.