Schaitberger’s IAFF: Crashing

The Future Betrayed

Our Dear Leader

Our Dear Leader

The IAFF Executive Board’s cowardly decision to sit out the 2016 US presidential election is a big win for that group of ancient white men but a big loser for everyone else.

Way back in October 2015, 11th district vice president Sandy McGhee summed it up when he said, “Secretary Clinton doesn’t sell well here.”

He was referring, of course, to the fact she is a woman running for the top job of “chief”, as it were.

The cowardly decision to sit this one out was a clear win for white men in the IAFF.

Truth is, it’s a short term victory for some which weakens the future of our union.

Who’s Best for Labor?

The IAFF endorsement decision should have been blindingly simple: who will support and defend firefighters, paramedics and working families?

On the one hand you have Donald Trump who professes his love of right-to-work and who also has a proven track record of screwing over working Americans.

On the other, Hillary Clinton who has always supported organized labor and working Americans.

But, much more to the point, after September 11th, she worked tirelessly to make sure that firefighters and their families were cared for and that all Ground Zero workers received the medical coverage they deserved.

She stood with us when it really mattered and we then cut her loose.

Ever been in a working fire with someone who was found lacking when they were needed most?

Where Hillary Clinton is concerned, we are that guy.

How’s it feel to be a slacker?

Pale Males

The political prognosticators 538.com published a piece yesterday observing that in this election where the first woman president, a Democrat, is about to be elected, that the party of Trump, the Republicans, are getting whiter, and more male, by the minute.

As an example, in the House of Representatives 87% of Republicans are white males while on the Democratic side just 43% are.

There’s a problem with that.

The American electorate (and many fire departments) are becoming less and less white and male.

We call that diversity.

The IAFF leadership, by caving on Clinton, is also clinging to a political (and labor) model that is headed right down the trash chute.

Real leaders lead and it was the responsibility of the IAFF executive board to understand the facts and the landscape and to position us for the future.

They failed, utterly.

But, they did protect their fat cat, plushy deal.

And in so doing they have ensured that the IAFF fails to represent in substance and in form either our membership or our future.

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10 Comments

  • Mike Schwartz says:

    It is pretty shocking to me that any labor union, especially one so tied to government, would sit out this election. Only weak, short sighted and in this case, corrupt, leadership or lack thereof would be so stupid and spineless.

  • Rhackett says:

    I read somewhere that one of Trump’s significant groups of support is white males without a college degree.

    Sounds like the fire service.

  • David Anders says:

    Eric, As a recent President use to say, “There you go again.” You ignore the fact that the IAFF runs from the bottom up and not from the top down as some private sector unions do. I was not at the IAFF Convention so I am taking the word of people who were. As I understand it, the IAFF Local leaders voted for no endorsement. It is easy to sit on the sidelines and thump your chest and say that the IAFF E-Board and the GP should have said “Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.” This is not the movies and you are not John Wayne. It seems you and one or two others, forgot, or at least pretending to be more important than you are and ignoring our organization’s Constitutional structure; i.e. the membership at convention develop policy and are responsible for endorsements at the national level. If the GP or the Board do the opposite of what the membership asked, they will not be there much longer. It is encouraging to know they do as the membership asked them to.

  • Islafire says:

    David Anders, you are wrong. The International made the decision. It was discussed to make a motion from the floor but a DVP told a district caucus it would be riled out of order.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      I guess we should not be too hard on Ole Dave. He’s a Schaitberger clone used to saying whatever bullshit he wants and having people believe it.

      That bullshit has gotten the IAFF exactly NOTHING.

      Thank you, as always, for writing.

  • I suspect that the same “logic” was the reason for the multiple IAFF Comstock endorsement mailers. The future of the IAFF is bright! We get guns, hate for “the other”, an entire plate of war, sexism and on top of that a profound denial of what our real issues are.

  • Joe says:

    Eric…why didn’t you say something at the last convention? It seems like it means a lot to you? Are you you still on the job? How does the kitchen able sound every morning? I don’t know one firefighter voting for her. It isn’t a race or gender thing…please stop pulling that card. You’re a broken record.

  • Rhackett says:

    Joe, you now know at least one firefighter voting for her. The table in the morning isn’t where I make that decision.

    I keep my mouth shut and listen to the idiocy that is nothing more than the parroting of a that piece of shit TV news channel called Fox.

    Why firefighters continue to support a group that wants to gut them is one of the great mysteries. Then they complain when the politicos of the red party proclaim them overpaid and underworked.

  • IslaFire says:

    Not sure where Joe is from but where I come from, there are lots of firefighters voting for HRC. But then again, the makeup of my FD includes many different demographics and not just white males.

    I see you are from NC Mr. Anders. How did national collective bargaining work out for you? It didn’t. That was one of the premiere failures of HAS. With a favorable POTUS and a supposedly favorable Congress, it didn’t get to the floor for a vote even though HAS nearly guaranteed it at the 2010 Leg Conference.

    In Vegas, there were all kinds of shenanigans including the Trustee election and the MDA resolution. In the three IAFF conventions I have attended, I’ve never seen a candidate for office be given so much floor time and mentions from the dais. The resolution committee chair was able to speak freely without any ability for rebuttal by the resolution filer. My district caucus included one candidate but not the other. At my state association convention, one candidate was able to address the entire delegation but the other was not. These were all sad moments.

    We all realize that our IAFF, State Associations, and Locals endorse candidates that don’t always align completely with our members’ views. It’s just the nature of the beast. I remind our members all the time that they are public employees. Any candidate for office that makes any statement about the unworthiness of government employees or that they will take benefits away should never receive an endorsement. Expecting that these legislators will make exceptions for firefighters is myopic at best and fatal at worst.

    I’m not sure about you Mr Anders but Rural Metro FD and Wackenhut PD is not something I want to see in my community. And not just because I’m a firefighter.

  • IslaFire says:

    The IAFF and state associations nationwide will soon regret the day they didn’t make an endorsement. Hopefully for the hard-working men and women in the fire service, it doesn’t sting as bad as it does right now.

    HAS=Coward

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