[lbo-talk] Nathan Newman quoted on UnionFacts.com!!!!

Stephen Philion stephen_philion at yahoo.com
Wed May 23 20:18:23 PDT 2007

Doug H wrote: NameTitle Total Compensation Andrew Stern International President $ 258,731

--Doug, I'm gonna challenge this a bit, I'm not seeing a big problem here with that. I'm reminded of your rather reasonable response to liberals who get all worked up over the less than perfect atributes of Cuban democracy, namely 'how would you run the show with the world's most powerful military and economic machine breathing down your back waiting to pull an Allende on ya?' [I paraphrase you here]. I think the same kind of realist considerations have to apply to unions.

Unions are, especially once they become national in scope, bureaucracies, big big machines that require some kind of means to attract skilled leaders, right? 258 K is pretty poor show in the business world, so it's not like there's some equivalency with the target of union activity [i.e. the investor class] that would be a problem here. If one looked at his average wages over his lifetime, it's probably not consistent with the wage he receives as the head of the union now.

I guess I'm asking, given the nature of unions as big bureaucracies [no different from, say, a social security administration] how would *you* attract and keep the people with the skills needed to keep a union as a bureaucracy viable? Even if it's a union doing all the things we whose minds are shaped by Grundrisse and Capital would have them do?

This doesn't, or shouldn't, detract from your or Fitch's criticisms of Stern, which, especially in terms of political direction, organizational strategies, etc. are pretty spot on.

Stephen Philion Assistant Professor St. Cloud State University Department of Sociology and Anthropology


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