AFL-CIO, CtW, NEA form National Labor Coordinating Committee

by Ron Moore

(April 7) The AFL-CIO, Change to Win and the National Education Association announced today the creation of a National Labor Coordinating Committee to consult among their affiliated unions and to act nationally on the critical issues facing working Americans.

“Recognizing the historic moment we face, the American labor movement must unify to restore the American dream for working families,” said David Bonior, who continues as Chair of the unification effort.

“I am very pleased with our progress. The Committee pledged to complete its consultations and other work on unification plans over the coming months. A unified labor movement is the way to ensure that the vast majority of Americans who want a union are able to join one.”

The members of the National Labor Coordinating Committee are the Presidents of:

AFL-CIO
Change To Win
National Education Association
American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees
American Federation of Teachers
Communications Workers of America
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Laborers International Union of North America
Service Employees International Union
Unite Here
United Auto Workers
United Food and Commercial Workers
United Steelworkers of America

The Committee will work on some of the biggest challenges confronting our nation, including the reform of our labor laws, the renewal of our economy and the passage of national health reform.

The affiliates of the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and the NEA collectively represent more than 16 million workers in over 60 national and international unions.

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One Response

  1. This is an important announcement. However, notice how the same event was reported by Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post. Harold usually stays up on these events.
    Today, the American labor movement proclaimed its intention to come back together — helped, of course, by the fact that Democrats now control both Congress and the White House and are bent on enacting universal health insurance and, perhaps, some legislation that would make it easier for workers to join unions. After meetings in Maryland this week, the presidents of the two federations and of the nation’s 12 largest unions — including the National Education Association, which heretofore has not belonged to any labor federation — announced the formation of the National Labor Coordinating Committee, an interim body that could pave the way for labor’s reunification by forming a new federation with roughly 16 million members.

    The committee will be headed by David Bonior, the former Michigan congressman and House Democratic whip who was the foremost congressional opponent of both the Reagan administration’s support for Nicaraguan contras and the Clinton administration’s support for free-trade legislation with China and other repressive regimes. Bonior, who headed former senator John Edwards’s 2008 presidential campaign, might possibly emerge as the head of the new federation. He is currently president of American Rights at Work, a pro-union advocacy group that has been coordinating the campaign for the Employee Free Choice Act, and he would be an articulate spokesman for a movement that could surely use one.

    The union presidents have largely agreed to focus the federation (its name is still up in the air) on the political and lobbying operations at which the AFL-CIO has excelled. They will continue meeting over the next several months to hammer out details — a timetable that could produce a plan to be ratified at the AFL-CIO’s convention in September.

    In this view, the new organization is a precursor to a new federation.
    Which is it? Or, is that yet to be determined?

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