The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Some AFL-CIO Bodies May Work with Dissident Unions

by Brendan Coyne

July 28, 2005 – As the current leadership of the nation’s largest organized labor body was reelected to another five-year term, other unionists began looking at the ripple effect the recent disaffiliation of two major unions might have on grassroots-level labor efforts.

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According to the Workers Independent News, Richard Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, said the Federation has yet to decide how to handle dealings between two recently disaffiliated unions and the grassroots-level organizations that the AFL-CIO is built upon.

"I’m not gonna speculate. We haven’t heard it. We haven’t made any plans yet, we’re just gonna continue where we are," Trumka said in response to questions about how the national Federation will deal with central labor councils and state AFL-CIO organizations that opt to continue working with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union.

Those two unions, which are part of a recently formed group calling itself the Change to Win Coalition, left the Federation Monday. Reportedly, two other CTW unions, Unite Here, a garment and hospitality workers union, and the United Food and Commercial Workers, are considering bolting from the AFL-CIO as well.

In departing form the Federation, Teamsters leader James Hoffa and SEIU leader Andrew Stern stated their intention to continue working with the central labor councils and state-level federations, a partnership prohibited by the AFL-CIO Constitution.

Many of the grassroots AFL-CIO bodies would face serious financial difficulties if SEIU and Teamster locals are barred from participating in their activities.

Convention delegates yesterday reelected President John Sweeney, Executive Vice-President Linda Chavez-Thompson and Trumka to their respective posts, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The results were expected.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Brendan Coyne is a contributing journalist.

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