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The Road to Disunion.

Led by Andy Stern of the SEIU and James Hoffa of the Teamsters, four key unions boycott the AFL-CIO convention, with plans to withdraw from the organization in short order (The Teamsters have already left.) Early word seems to be that this bifurcation could spell trouble for the Dems in 2006, but, frankly, the House of Labor has needed serious renovations for a good long while. Perhaps this schism won’t be as profitable for labor as that of the CIO in 1935, but how much harm could it really cause? Old-School Big Labor couldn’t even get Gephardt past third in Iowa last year. I don’t know the details of the power struggle, but I get the sense that Stern & co. are advocating some tough-minded reforms, including consolidating smaller unions, while AFL-CIO president John Sweeney is attempting to protect various union fiefdoms in tried-and-true calcified-leadership fashion. Let’s see what the Young(er) Turks have to offer. Update: The SEIU’s officially out now, too.

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