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The NLC: A Rising Phoenix or Death by Culture?

The potential end of the National Labor College speaks volumes about the AFL-CIO Leadership.

In researching the LM-2 of the AFL-CIO it is clear there is a dramatic need for an infusion of cash! With declining overall membership and the respective affiliates focusing inward on their own needs, the need for cash is paramount. Reviewing the financial condition of the AFL-CIO thru June 30, 2012 shows some stunning numbers. We are doing some follow-up research, and you can, too, at:

Brothers & Sisters, let’s look at the future, or lack thereof, of the NLC in light of the financial statements.

The NLC has to go!

The cost to maintain the campus & programs, including the online school, is simply too much. Politicians are quick to point out the missteps; but, what the evidence points to is the arcane culture & management of both the AFL-CIO and the NLC.

The school’s closing stops the financial bleeding of running the school & campus. Shutting down even the online portion of the school allows the eventual sale of the brick and mortar campus to be a “net” infusion of much needed cash – which I would wager will occur soon after closing the NLC program.

For those of us who want to see the online e-campus remain viable, here is what that equation looks like. To conduct a “real” online campus costs BIG money. The infrastructure to modernize the technology, marketing efforts and on-going 21st Century back room maintenance and administration would deplete much, if not all, of the proceeds of any eventual sale of the campus. Envision Phoenix University. While we may not need that level of online campus, what a beautiful asset for labor it would be! Imagine investing in aggressive education & organizing vs. kissing the asses of corporations & contractors via the top-down, Breslin approach and “hoping” politicians will move labors’ agenda at a time when labor has less money & votes to leverage! COME-ON MAN!

For us hard core organizer types, breaking the internal “status quo” laissez faire culture of the AFL-CIO is upon us.

An infusion of cash into the existing culture could be the final nail in labor’s coffin, because it will perpetuate the political kiss ass mindset. By the time we spend this last infusion of cash without dramatically reforming our direction, labor will have become irrelevant.

The “Rank & File” is watching the priorities and direction of our leadership. Is it a “Rising Phoenix” of education & organizing, or death by politics and wholesale corporate sellout!?!

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Combat Organizing College

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