Looks like the Carpenters have joined the breakaway unions (more officially known as the Change to Win Coalition). Jonathan Tasini has an excellent analysis up at Working Life, and I'll have more to say on all this later. Bottom line, though, is that I'm happy to see Labor shook to the core. It's become trite to say that we can't have progressive politics without a strong labor movement, but it's rarely asked whether the conditions for such a movement even exist, or what the end result would look like.
Today's economy is much more transient than yesterday's, and that's true for both employers and employees. The current split strikes me as the last attempt to make a new labor constituency using the old labor perspective. If it fails? Then we can figure out the next step. But we can't go there until this project has run its course, and that can't happen until some hungry unions try to replicate last century's successes in this century's economy. The AFL-CIO is too intent on preserving past gains to do it. Change to Win isn't.