Sept. 5, 2005 – Three weeks before the scheduled founding convention of the new labor coalition, Change to Win, six Minnesota unions announced last week that they were forming a local chapter. The unions immediately pledged to offer support to mechanics on strike against Northwest Airlines.
- Hope, Concern Surround Launching of New Organized Labor Initiative (Jun 16, 2005)
- Northwest Mechanics Take to Picket Lines (Aug 22, 2005)
"We support the airline workers and their families as they stand up for their right to have job security, adequate benefits and a living wage," Unite Here International Vice President Jaye Rykunyk said in a statement announcing the new Minnesota Change to Win Coalition. "Furthermore, the tactics being used by Northwest Airlines to break the will of the striking workers will have dire consequences for all unions. We have to help the airline workers succeed for the future of our own members."
Mechanics and maintenance workers belonging to the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association have been on strike against Northwest for two weeks. Other unions representing Northwest workers have not honored the strike and have crossed the picket lines.
The six local unions represent about 140,000 Minnesota workers.
At the national level, Change to Win unions represent about 5 million workers. The group came together in opposition to the direction the AFL-CIO, the nationâ€™s largest labor federation, and three members left the Federation at the beginning of its annual convention.
The Minnesota Change to Win Coalition is comprised of locals belonging to the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, United Food and Commercial Workers, Laborers International Union of North America, Unite Here, Service Employees International Union and International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the statement said. A seventh member of the national coalition, the United Farm Workers, does not currently have a Minnesota affiliate.