Executive Council Statement | Better Pay and Benefits

Strengthening State Federations and Area and Central Labor Councils

Las Vegas
AFL-CIO Executive Council statement

The policy of the AFL-CIO has been and must continue to be to achieve full participation and fair affiliation of all local unions to state and local central labor bodies.

For our movement to be successful, we must have the active engagement of all of our unions as a unified federation at the grassroots.

The AFL-CIO recognizes and affirms that a strong and unified labor movement at the state and local level is critically important to our success in organizing, bargaining, legislation and our political mobilization program.  To this end, delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention established policies and programs to strengthen these organizations, including the Solidarity Charter Program and the establishment of the Solidarity Fund to assist state and local federations with their political education and issue mobilization campaigns.  Subsequent meetings of the AFL-CIO Executive Council have confirmed this course of action.

At the Executive Council meeting in February 2006, the Executive Council adopted a campaign plan to increase the level of affiliation and participation of all AFL-CIO unions in our state federations, area labor federations and central labor councils.  The campaign called upon each international and national union to:

  1. Review its own level of affiliation and participation in state and local central bodies;
  2. Set goals and develop a timeline for achieving the fullest possible affiliation and participation;
  3. Appoint a representative to the Solidarity ’06 Affiliation Campaign Committee to work within their own union to carry out this effort.  The Committee established a goal of 10 percent growth in affiliation for the year.

The Executive Council Committee on State and Local Strategies was charged with overseeing this effort and making recommendations for further action to achieve the Federation’s policy of full participation and fair affiliation.

Based on the Committee’s work over the past year and its recommendations, the AFL CIO Executive Council resolves that:

  1. The campaign to increase affiliation and participation in state and local central bodies should be extended.
  2. The leaders of each national or international union are asked to take responsibility to ensure full affiliation and participation in all state and local central bodies.
  3. During the month of February each year, every national or international union is asked to supply information to the AFL-CIO including the number of regular dues-paying members, by state and locality of residence, and by state and locality of local union, for its full membership during the preceding year.
  4. The unions in the National Affiliation Fee Program are commended for considering voluntarily increasing their levels of contribution to state federations to 80 percent as of January 2008.
  5. Special commendation goes to the IBEW, which will join the NAF Program at the level of 85 percent as of July 1, 2007. 
  6. Other national unions whose affiliation rates are less than 70 percent should be allowed to enter into the NAF Program at the level of 70 percent, with a 5 percent annual escalator to achieve the 80 percent level after two years.  The 2009 AFL-CIO Convention should consider any changes to the NAF Program that should be codified.
  7. All state federations, area labor federations and central labor councils should be encouraged to enroll full-time staff and officers into the AFL-CIO Leadership Development Institute and related staff and leader training programs that the Federation provides for state and local labor councils.
  8. The Federation shall broaden its organizational development work with these organizations, through initiatives such as statewide unified strategic planning and, where appropriate, New Alliance reorganization work.