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AFL-CIO College Closes

Did you know that the AFL-CIO ran a college and that it is closing? Is that a metaphor?

From Paul Bedard [1] we learn that “In the latest sign of the fast-shrinking Big Labor movement, the National Labor College established in 1969 by AFL-CIO icon George Meany [2]to teach new labor organizing tactics and management to new generations of activists is selling its sprawling Silver Spring, Md. campus.”

“The reason: they just can’t afford to keep the facilities housing the academic arm of the labor movement open anymore.”

From now on, union charges will have to boot up and log on. “Instead of teaching students at the facility just off New Hampshire Avenue at the Capital Beltway, online courses will be offered,” Bedard reports. “Once the 47-acre facility is rezoned and sold, student housing will disappear.”

“Instead, new students will get to live in union halls.” I guess it’s better than tents.

“Some 200,000 union leaders have passed through the college which offers undergraduate degrees at community college prices,” Bedard relates.

Nevertheless, students opting for union hall housing might find it nice and roomy. “The stunning closure comes as Big Labor is facing a membership death spiral,” Bedard writes. “Some 11.8 percent of American workers belong to unions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

“ In 1983, 20.1 percent carried union cards.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia [3].

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org [4].