Nevada illustrates the union divide between leadership and rank and file on health care.


Anne and I have been to Vegas a couple of times.

We always have a good time. Never have as good a time as Bernie had Saturday.

If you’ve never been you might not realize what a union town it is.

It is solid.

My main take away from the election, aside from pleasure at the size of Bernie’s victory, is how it exposed a giant chasm between union leadership and the rank and file over Medicare for All.

Health care and health insurance was the number one issue for caucus voters and over 60% support Bernie on the issue.

Even as the leadership of the Culinary workers union trashed Bernie over it.

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten has been outspoken in her opposition to Bernie and Medicare for All.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka says he “hates” Medicare 4 All.

They all claim their members love employer-provided health insurance.

But nobody loves it.

Most workers don’t have it.

Get fired and there’s nothing to love.

But Nevada’s voters rejected their leadership’s position and demonstrated the rejection on Saturday in a big way.

Why are the union leaders so clueless about it?

Because they live lives that have nothing in common with the lives their members live.

They don’t share their members fears of serious illness and what that would cost them.

They say it is a great benefit that was bargained and won by them.

Those of us who had to bargain for health care every contract know how fragile a benefit it is for even those that have it.



3 thoughts on “Nevada illustrates the union divide between leadership and rank and file on health care.

  1. Every American who is against the Medicare For All concept is an individual who is fortunate to have insurance at the present time. Many from that group, whether they are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, are those people who dislike Bernie’s contrary plan. What many of them don’t realize is their safety net could abandon them in the middle of the night. They’ll be singing a different tune then.

    All they have to do is talk to their Canadian friends, if they happen to have any. I have several, and they seem to be very happy with their medical program. One recently had knee surgery and told me that it didn’t cost her a penny. Nada!

    OK Bernie !!!

  2. Oh, & I also hate this msm & other gossip-monging that Bernie is not popular among people my age.
    In 2016, a third or more of the volunteers at offices in IL, NYC, New Orleans & CA were…seniors.
    The Sanders Campaign needs to listen to those of us calling for seniors/boomers on stage with signs stating, “Seniors for Sanders” & “Boomers for Bernie.” They have been designed & are available.
    Many of us had them in 2016, & more of us should have them now.
    Get with it, Bernie Campaign, & stop sending form e-mails, “Thank you for your suggestion,” & GET.IT.DONE. As you keep referring to “We, not me,” let the WE help. Our suggestions should be taken seriously & utilized. It WILL make a difference.
    Also, your candidate needs to talk to Robert Reich (although he did better in the last debate, w/his reference to the “Lancet” article’s figures) about specifics RE: medicare for all, rather than allow himself to be baited–over & over on “How are you going to pay for this, Bernie?”
    Again, this will make a great dent in objections from other contenders. Who can argue with facts & figures broken down by a well-respected economist?
    (Or–watch John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” segment on Medicare fir All from last week’s show.
    Pretty good stuff.)

  3. There’s an old Wobbly term that perfectly defines union leadership of the kind that Weingarten, Trumpka, and the Culinary Workers’ leadership: “Labor skate”, meaning a union official more interested in their power and prestige than in obtaining the maximum benefit for the membership. They “skate” along at the top of the movement, not really a part of it, but leeching off of it, and maintaining their power by performing a kabuki of aggressive negotiating when they really more or less collaborate with the bosses to navigate the narrow line between decertification and lockout on the one hand, and rejection of their negotiating “efforts” and strikes by the members, all to maintain the privileges and perks of their office.

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