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New Labor Federation Pledges to Carry Out Most Aggressive Organizing Campaign in 50 Years

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Anna Burger Chosen as Chair, First Time in US History a Woman Will Head a Labor Federation

St. Louis, MO - Hundreds of working people from around the country -- members of unions that together represent nearly 6 million workers -- came together to create a new labor federation dedicated to ensuring that hard work is once again valued in the US and around the world. Change to Win, comprised of 7 unions, will be a lean organization focusing more than 75% of its budget on organizing working people.

Over the course of its day-long founding convention, delegates ratified a constitution and structure, and passed resolutions on organizing, diversity, and politics. Anna Burger was officially designated as chair of the new federation, the first time in American history that a woman has headed a labor federation. Edgar Romney was chosen as the secretary-treasurer of the federation, the first time an African-American has headed an American labor federation. In addition, workers shared firsthand their struggles to ensure that their jobs pay enough to support a family, offer quality, affordable health care, and a retirement with dignity.

"May the history books record that on the 27th day of September in St. Louis, delegates gathered and chose to change not just their unions, but their country," said Anna Burger, Chair of Change to Win. "Today we come together, having traveled here on separate roads with our separate proud histories, and our own union's colors, but we are all going in the same direction now. We are on the way to rekindle the American dream."

"Strategic, smart, organizing is our core principle-our North Star," said Burger. "We will put our money where our mouth is, with three-quarters of our resources going to a groundbreaking organizing crusade."

"Today is a day the labor movement can be proud of," stated Edgar Romney, Secretary-Treasurer of the federation. "We are embarking on a journey together toward a new era, where workers are valued and the economy works for everyone. And for the first time ever, the movement is being led by a woman. We are committed to diversity throughout our ranks and there is no better place to start than the top."

Prior to leaving the convention, all of the delegates signed a Change to Win pledge, which summarized the organizing goals of the new federation, including agreeing "to hold each other accountable to our common objective of uniting workers into unions and restoring the American Dream."

Stephanie Mueller, 202-730-7842 or 202-256-0833

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