June 28, 2005 – A major splinter group of unions demanding changes within the organized labor movement gained another member yesterday as the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners announced that it would become part of the recently formed coalition.
In a statement yesterday announcing the move, union head Doug McCarron said: "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."
The Carpenters left the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the nationâ€™s largest organized labor group, in 2001, charging that the Federation was not focused enough on organizing workers and building union power.
As previously reported by The NewStandard, five unions created the Change to Win Coalition two weeks ago, amid internal strife at the AFL-CIO over priorities for the labor movement. The founding members of the Coalition -- the Service Employees International Union, United Food and Commercial Workers, Unite Here, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Laborers International Union of North America â€“ said they were banding together to focus on organizing and reviving the American labor movement. Some of the Coalition members have threatened to leave the AFL-CIO unless major changes are enacted.
The over 500,000-member Carpenters Union brings the total membership of the Coalition to almost 6 million workers.