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Statement By the Change to Win Coalition In Response to AFL-CIO Officers' Press Event

Monday, June 20, 2005

Labor solidarity is not about the unity of institutions or leaders or sustaining a bureaucracy under the banner of the "house of labor." It's about uniting workers to fight for a better life.

Workers in America are under daily assault from unrestrained corporations, hostile political leadership, and a rapidly changing global economy. Unfortunately, the organization that is supposed to fight for American workers, the AFL-CIO, is not structured to build real power for working people.

The debate in the labor movement is not about vote counting. It's about workers counting. It's not about organizing workers to increase membership and dues dollars. It's about organizing workers for power on the job and in the community.

The Change to Win Coalition is committed to restructuring the labor movement to unite workers to build power. Unity that does not unite workers to build power is a false unity. The AFL-CIO officers approach is a status quo unity that will simply reinforce the trajectory of the last 10 years -- declining union membership, fewer worker protections, and an enhanced political assault on working people at the federal, state and local levels.

If American workers have a hope of reversing the long slide in their living standards and rights on the job, a revitalized labor movement is essential. Our unions believe that the AFL-CIO must be reformed to lead a new, vibrant labor movement that is structured to rebuild worker power in the industries and occupations in which they make their living and in the communities in which they live.

Eric Hauser, 202.518.8047

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