Center for Union Facts

It would appear that the Occupy movement is now being co-opted by labor unions. For unions, the freshness, energy, and publicity surrounding the movement is a rare opportunity to make news for reasons other than declining membership rolls.

Union leaders are wrapping themselves with the Occupy banner both rhetorically and literally. SEIU President Mary Kay Henry casts the Occupiers as natural allies reading from a script the unions wrote long ago.

“We have been talking about the increasing inequality in this country for a long time,” she said last October. “I think what’s wonderful about the Occupy movement is that they captured this with…’We are the 99 percent.’ I feel like what we are doing is echoing a very smart thing that the occupiers began with.”

Unions are more than echoing. As Townhall.com details, they’re organizing Occupy protests and voicing official support for demonstrators—using the movement as a springboard for their own efforts and agenda. In Chicago, Boston and Orange County (Calif.), area affiliates of the AFL-CIO organized protests for Occupiers and union members.


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