"More than a dozen trade unions plan to sit out the 2012 Democratic convention because of their anger over the site of the meeting in a right-to-work state and their frustration over Democrats' struggles to create jobs," Sam Hananel of the Associated Press reported this afternoon.
"The unions — all part of the AFL-CIO's building and construction trades unit — told party officials this week they are gravely disappointed that labor was not consulted before Democrats settled on Charlotte, N.C., where there are no unionized hotels," Hananel noted.
The Tar Heel State went for Obama in the 2008 presidential race but is a right-to-work state:
"We find it troubling that the party so closely associated with basic human rights would choose a state with the lowest unionization rate in the country due to regressive policies aimed at diluting the power of workers," Mark Ayers, president of the building trades unit, wrote in a letter to Democratic Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The decision by the building trades came after a vote by leaders of the unit's 13 affiliate unions, including the Laborers, Painters and Electrical Workers. Overall, the unions represent about 2.5 million members.
"There is broad frustration with the party and all elected officials, broad frustration with the lack of a union agenda," said Michael Monroe, chief of staff of the building trades division. "People are looking for outlets to express that frustration."
DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell said the organizers "look forward to working with labor leaders from across the country to make the convention a success."
We'll keep an eye out for how the print and broadcast media outlets follow up on AP's reporting.
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