Monday, June 20, 2005
Statement By the Change to Win Coalition In Response to AFL-CIO Officers' Press Event
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
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Five Leading Unions Form New Coalition to Rebuild American Labor Movement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The leaders of five of the largest unions in the AFL-CIO - Teamsters, UFCW, UNITE-HERE, Laborers, and SEIU -- today announced the formation of the Change to Win Coalition, a new alliance devoted to creating a large-scale, coordinated campaign to rebuild the American labor movement.
At a meeting this morning with 50 top officials from the unions, the Coalition approved a Constitution and Bylaws that would promote the coordination, cooperation and collective action of their affiliated organizations to boost union strength and improve workers' lives.
"Our goal is to empower the tens of millions of American workers who face the daily challenge of making ends meet and whose voice has been silenced by the overwhelming power of large global corporations and their representatives in Washington," the five Presidents said in a joint statement.
"The basic principle that brings us here today is that American workers cannot win a better life unless more workers belong to unions, and unless those unions have the focus, strategy, and resources to unite workers in their industry and raise standards for pay, health care, pensions, and working conditions," they continued.
While the founding unions hope their proposals are passed by the delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention, it will put them into practice immediately through the structure and activities of the Change to Win Coalition. Regardless of the agenda adopted in Chicago by the AFL-CIO, the Coalition will move forward with its reform program after the Convention.
The union leaders said today that they welcome other labor organizations into the Coalition. They said, "In the Constitution and Bylaws we adopted today, we pledged mutual support and solidarity, no raiding, and no retaliation for those who may choose to leave the AFL-CIO. We seek to change the face not only of what organized labor does, but how it does it."
Thursday, February 24, 2005
Rebuilding the Union Movement to Empower Communities of Color By Gerald Hudson
The SEIU responds to a bc article- Rebuilding the Union Movement to Empower Communities of Color
by Gerald Hudson
Wednesday, February 13, 2002
Change to Win Statement on the U.S. Senate's Failure to Debate the Confirmation of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board
WASHINGTON, DC - Change to Win Chair Anna Burger issued the following statement regarding yesterday's failure of the U.S. Senate to debate the confirmation of Craig Becker to a seat on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
"We are deeply disappointed that the U.S. Senate failed to allow debate and a vote on Craig Becker, who was nominated in April 2009, to serve on the NLRB Board.
"Craig Becker is a highly qualified candidate, with decades of experience as a labor attorney who is known as a bridge builder between the labor, corporate, and academic worlds. He earned labor's unified support because he and a majority of the Senate recognize that he will bring excellence and fair judgment to bear on decisions impacting thousands of American workers each year.
"The Senate's failure to support a full and vigorous debate of his confirmation, despite his majority support out of the Health, Education, and Labor Committee, and after being nominated over nine months ago to fill an urgently needed, essential seat at the National Labor Relations Board, is just another example of American workers being denied and ignored at the whim of small-minded politics on the part of the Republican party and two Democrats.
"Thousands of cases, of hard-working Americans who play by the rules and deserve justice and resolution to disputes on their job, will continue to go unsettled, at a moment when our economic crisis cries out for responsible, constructive solutions from our legislative branch. Instead, the actions of the Republican Senators and Senators Nelson and Lincoln serve to deny workers with a functional governing body to address our most basic workplace laws.