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  • Tuesday, May 9, 2006 Change to Win and AFL-CIO Agree to Coordinate Election Year Efforts

    AFL-CIO president John Sweeney and Change to Win chair Anna Burger today announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on a plan for coordination of member mobilization activity for the 2006 election year.

    "The entire labor movement is united by the desire to make working people's issues the country's priorities this election year, and we are taking all the necessary steps to effectively coordinate our efforts toward this end," said Sweeney and Burger.

    Change to Win and the AFL-CIO will create a National Labor Coordinating Committee (NLCC) to be chaired by Gerald McEntee, AFL-CIO political committee chair and president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and vice-chaired by Edgar Romney, secretary-treasurer of Change to Win and executive vice president of UNITE HERE. Political directors and staff from the organizations will work in close collaboration on every aspect of the program, and the organizations will share the costs of joint activities.

    As part of the agreement, Change to Win releases its affiliates to participate in state and local central labor bodies, and AFL-CIO President Sweeney will recommend to the AFL-CIO Executive Council that the United Farm Workers be eligible to participate in state and local bodies.

    Contact:
    Carole Florman, 202.721.6045 direct, 202.262.1513 mobile or carole.florman@changetowin.org

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  • Thursday, April 27, 2006 Preserving the Middle Class Too Controversial for MSNBC and Jon Stewart

    Change to Win Ad Highlighting Out of Control CEO Pay Refused by Cable Network Parents General Electric and Viacom

    WASHINGTON, DC — Cable networks MSNBC and Comedy Central have refused to air a Change to Win ad that contrasts the vanishing middle class with runaway CEO pay. Despite coverage of rising income inequality in mainstream publications such as the New York Times and USA Today over the last two weeks, cable network parents Viacom and General Electric refused to run Change to Win’s ad, which launches its nationwide Make Work Pay! campaign. “American democracy is threatened when pointing out that income inequality is rising and the middle class is in jeopardy is somehow controversial?” asked Greg Tarpinian, Executive Director of Change to Win, a labor federation of seven unions and 6 million members. “One has to wonder if the real reason this ad isn't being run is because MSNBC and Viacom are worried that it will offend Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone, who made $24 million dollars last year, and GE CEO Jeff Immelt who made $15 million,” Tarpinian said. "The people who should be offended are the millions of hard working men and women who can't even afford cable, let alone healthcare. We call on Viacom and General Electric to show this ad nationally on their networks, and acknowledge what the American people already know—the middle class is shrinking and it’s time we did something about it.”

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  • Wednesday, April 26, 2006 Hundreds Rally to Make Work Pay!; Teamster President James P. Hoffa and John Edwards Launch Miami Campaign to Preserve America’s Middle Class

    Labor Federation’s Campaign Seeks to Unite 50 Million Workers in Movement to Restore the American Dream

    MIAMI - Hundreds of UNICCO employees, Miami area port drivers and other workers, students and community leaders today joined Teamsters president James P. Hoffa, former U.S. Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards, and Southern Christian Leadership Conference president Charles Steele to call for wages that support a family, affordable access to health care, retirement security and a voice on the jobs for all workers.

    “There’s something wrong when CEOs are averaging $11.3 million a year and the hard-working men and women who keep this country moving are working two and three jobs just to make ends meet,” said James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “No family should have to choose between paying their rent and providing healthcare for their kids. That’s why the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the six million members of the Change to Win unions are fighting to make work pay for everyone.”

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  • Wednesday, April 26, 2006 Change to Win Chair Anna Burger Sets Record Straight on Recent Discussions with AFL-CIO

    WASHINGTON — Change to Win Chair Anna Burger today sent the following memo to all AFL-CIO State Federation and Central Labor Council Presidents to correct mischaracterizations in recent news reports about efforts by CtW to find ways for the two federations to work together on issues of common concern.

    The text of the memo follows:

    TO: All State Federation and CLC Presidents
    FROM: Anna Burger
    RE: Setting the Record Straight

    Change to Win has always been clear that we share common vision for America’s working families with the AFL-CIO. Our differences are with the AFL-CIO’s priorities, strategy and focus. That’s why we led the debate on future of the labor movement. It’s why we formed CtW and why we disaffiliated form the AFL-CIO.

    Despite our differences on strategy and focus, we have said since our formation that we would partner with the AFL-CIO on common issues of concern. And the truth is that all of the labor movement is not strong or big enough alone to win. CtW believes that we need to build the broadest coalition possible to address the issues of working families in America. When Change to Win proposed creating a coalition of labor federations and non-aligned labor organizations to coordinate strategies on issues of common concern we did so to advance the interests of our members and working families at the local, state, and national levels. Unfortunately, developing a cooperative relationship with the national AFL-CIO has proven difficult. Too frequently, AFL-CIO President Sweeney acts as if he is locked in organizational rivalry and responds by launching a press offensive that confuses and distorts the nature of our discussions.

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  • Saturday, April 22, 2006 Change to Win Launches Make Work Pay! Campaign to Preserve America's Middle Class

    Labor Federation's Campaign Seeks to Unite 50 Million Workers in Movement to Restore the American Dream

    Change to Win today launched a permanent campaign to unite the 50 million workers whose jobs cannot be outsourced and who are vital to the U.S. economy -- but who are not given a chance to reach the Middle Class.

    The Make Work Pay! campaign is focused on the millions of workers who work hard every day but still fall short of the basics of the American Dream -- a salary that can support a family, affordable health care, retirement security, a voice on the job, and a chance to give their kids an education and a better future.  The campaign will unite workers in industries such as hospitality, construction, retail, food processing, healthcare, trucking and transportation among others.

    A week of organizing activities in nearly 40 cities across the country kicks off the permanent campaign, with events at locations ranging from construction sites in New York City, to the steps of the county Courthouse in Norristown, PA, to ports in Seattle, Miami and Los Angeles, to Wal-Marts throughout the nation.

    "There are millions of jobs in this country that can't be moved overseas," said Anna Burger, Chair of Change to Win.  "They include the people who heal the sick and comfort the elderly, who harvest and serve our food, and build and clean and protect our offices and homes.  These men and women work hard and play by the rules but for too many the American Dream is something they see only on TV."

    CtW's unions are sharing resources, supporting each other's organizing drives and exerting pressure on corporations to allow their workers to determine whether they want to unite into a union, all under the banner of the Make Work Pay! campaign.

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