In 2005, several national trade unions separated themselves off from the AFL-CIO because of some differences among the leadership; most notably were the Service Employees International Union and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, along with a few other labor leaders they formed a national coalition called “Change to Win.” Their stated goal was to:
“… build a new movement of working people equipped to meet the challenges of the global economy and restore the American Dream in the 21st century: a paycheck that can support a family, affordable health care, a secure retirement and dignity on the job.”
From this writer’s perspective, after four long years all the “Change to Win” coalition have managed to do is divide organized labor’s resources and energy. The UBC has been busy working to gain membership away from AFL-CIO affiliated unions; whoever said this was “organizing?” Other than raiding off another union’s plate and wasting union members’ dues in jurisdictional battles, I can’t see anything positive the coalition has accomplished that wouldn’t have been accomplished faster and easier if labor was all pulling with the same oars.
It’s time for the egos and differing agendas to come back under one roof and work out their differences so that the strength of the union can once again be UNIFIED. It’s time to stop fighting each other for the right to represent workers who are already organized and get back to doing what we say we are all about, “restore the American Dream” for millions who are unorganized.
It’s time for reunification of the House of Labor.
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