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  • Wednesday, July 13, 2005 Change To Win Leadership Says AFL-CIO Has Yet to Embrace Real Change

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Chair of the Change to Win Coalition, Anna Burger, and its Treasurer, Edgar Romney, issued the following statement today regarding prospects for reforming the American labor movement:

    "There is a wide gap between current AFL-CIO leadership proposals and true reform. There has been virtually no progress on the major issues under debate, and any action taken since our Executive Committee last met with the federation has been mainly window dressing.

    "The current AFL-CIO leadership may be content. American workers are not. The federation has had many opportunities in recent weeks to embrace fundamental reforms that would strengthen labor's ability to make real headway for American workers and did not take advantage of them.

    "The AFL-CIO leadership has adopted many of the words and phrases of the Change to Win Coalition without adopting the principles. This is not about using semantics for political positioning; it is about fundamentally changing the labor movement to put it in a position to help American workers make real advances that would value and reward work. That is our only standard, and it is a standard which will guide our actions in the weeks, months, and years ahead."

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  • Wednesday, July 6, 2005 Change To Win Coalition Announces Election Of Top Officers

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Executive Committee of the Change to Win Coalition announced today that it has elected Anna Burger as its first Chair and Edgar Romney as its first Treasurer.

    Ms. Burger is the International Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Mr. Romney is the Executive Vice President of UNITE HERE!

    The Coalition is a new alliance devoted to creating a large-scale, coordinated campaign to expand the American labor movement. Its goal is to empower the tens of millions of American workers who struggle to make ends meet and whose voice has been silenced by the overwhelming power of global corporations and their representatives in Washington.

    "Anna and Edgar represent the very best of the American labor movement," the Coalition officers said in a statement today. "They are both outstanding leaders whose organizing skills and commitment to the interests of working people will help us build the Change to Win Coalition into a powerful force for working people."

    Ms. Burger is among the highest-ranking women in the labor movement. She was elected SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer in 2001 following nearly 30 years of political and field work for the union.

    "I am excited about the challenges ahead for the Coalition," Ms. Burger said today. American workers need a new voice. I am committed to fighting to bring millions more workers into the labor movement and lift their families up to new levels of economic security."

    Mr. Romney joined the former ILGWU in 1962 as a shipping clerk in Local 99. In 1989, he was elected ILGWU Executive Vice President, becoming the first African-American to hold that position. In 1995, Romney became Executive Vice President of UNITE.

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  • Wednesday, July 6, 2005 Change to Win Coalition Chair Anna Burger Sets Direction for New Labor Movement

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Anna Burger, the newly elected Chair of the Change to Win Coalition, signaled an assertive direction for the Coalition today, outlining several steps to guide the new labor movement.

    Burger announced that the Change to Win Coalition will hold its founding Convention this fall. "We will gather to formally endorse a strategy to bring millions more workers into the labor movement," she said. "Our Convention will ratify the core principles that bring our unions together -- a devotion to workers, a dedication to organizing, a commitment to diversity, and an adherence to democracy."

    On this last point, Burger stressed today that the Coalition would insist on the rule of democracy at the AFL-CIO Convention later this month.

    "The current AFL-CIO structure does not allow workers' voices to be heard," she said. "The Coalition has proposed an amendment to the AFL-CIO Constitution to change the representative formula to make it reflect the membership base of each federation affiliate. The Convention should adopt this amendment to ensure that democracy reigns in Chicago."

    Burger announced today that the Coalition would operate in accordance with its entire package of proposed Resolutions and Amendments, even if the reform platform is defeated at the AFL-CIO Convention.

    "We are deadly serious about the need to overhaul the labor movement." Burger emphasized. "The changes we want to make to the AFL-CIO are the only way to bring unions into the 21st century. At our founding Convention, the Coalition will adopt this platform in our Constitution and Bylaws. In every area -- governance, finances, organizing, diversity, etc. -- the Coalition will walk its talk." (A copy of the Coalition's proposed Resolutions and Amendments is available on its website.

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  • Thursday, June 30, 2005 Change to Win Coalition Submits Amendments for AFL-CIO Convention

    The Change to Win Coalition this week submitted its amendments and resolutions to the AFL-CIO Executive Council for consideration at the July Convention. In a cover letter to the AFL-CIO, the Coalition leaders stated: "We seek a strong and united labor movement, a movement with the will, strength, and leadership to undertake the changes in entrenched and outmoded structures and thinking that stand in the way of a truly dynamic Federation that can be an effective voice for workers and their families."

    While the AFL-CIO Officers proposals were made to sound a lot like the Change to Win Coalition's proposals, a review of the amendments and resolutions will reveal the stark contrast between the proposals of the AFL-CIO officers and the Change to Win Coalition. The Change to Win Coalition amendments and resolutions call for a major overhaul of AFL-CIO procedures, governance, and direction.

    "It is vital that democracy reign at the Convention," the Coalition leaders said today. "Our reform package should get a roll call vote in Chicago. Delegates should be allowed to vote on a democratic basis, and not have their voices smothered by Convention rules that contrive to tilt the voting structure toward those opposed to reform."

    The more than twenty amendments and resolutions are available at the Change to Win website. Resolution and Amendment categories follow:

        * Amendments to Provide for Convention Representation and Voting that Reflect the Membership of the Federation (Article IV, Sec. 4(a)-(b), and Article IV, Section 18)
        * Resolution and Amendments Encouraging Participation of Unaffiliated Labor Organizations In Central Labor Bodies and Trade and Industrial Departments (Articles III, XII and XIV)
        * Resolution and Amendments Committing the AFL-CIO To Empower Today's Diverse Workforce And Ensure Diversity At All Levels Of Leadership And Member Participation

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  • Monday, June 27, 2005 Carpenters Union Joins Change To Win Coalition- Six Million Union Members United in Growth Alliance

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America announced today that it is joining the Change to Win Coalition, the labor reform movement created on June 15, 2005 by the Teamsters, UFCW, SEIU, UNITE HERE, and Laborers.

    In uniting with the Change to Win Coalition, Carpenters President Doug McCarron said today: "The Carpenters Union is proud to join with the most dynamic unions in the country in the Change to Win Coalition. Our union is about building power and strength for working men and women and that is what the Change to Win Coalition is all about. In uniting our respective strengths, we can create a new hope for the millions of American workers for whom the American Dream is still a dream."

    Laborers President Terence O'Sullivan said: "We are glad the 550,000 members of the Carpenters Union have joined the Change to Win Coalition, united by our common vision of a labor movement built on the principles of organizing and collective action."

    Teamsters President James P. Hoffa said: "We are proud to be joining forces with the Carpenters Union because the status quo can no longer stand. Workers demand more, and our unions will work hard to empower them with a real voice and real strength in the workplace."

    "The Carpenters have proved that they can build their union as their members build our country," says John Wilhelm of UNITE HERE. "The Change to Win coalition is proving it can re-unite unions that are dissatisfied with the status quo."

    The Coalition is a new alliance devoted to creating a large-scale, coordinated campaign to expand the American labor movement. Its goal is to empower the tens of millions of American workers who struggle to make ends meet and whose voice has been silenced by the overwhelming power of global corporations and their representatives in Washington.

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