Four of the AFL-CIO's largest unions will be boycotting the labor federation's annual meeting, with the main issue of contention being how to deal with the loss of union influence in the modern business world. Among the unions who may be splitting off are the Service Employees International Union and the infamous Teamsters, with the four groups totaling almost 1/3rd of the AFL-CIO membership. If the relationship between the UAW/CAW and the Big 3 wasn't such big news, I don't think we'd care as much about this, but with the current labor situation in this country it's clear that any national union news has potential relevance to the auto industry. Any weakening of labor on a national level will likely have a negative effect during the UAW's '07 negotiations, and such a split is unlikely to increase the AFL-CIO's strength in the short term. Also keep in mind that any labor disruption by a "support" union - such as the Teamsters who provide transportation drivers - could have a significant impact on all of the auto manufacturing in this country (not just the Big 3).

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