Submitted by the AFL-CIO Executive Council
On the 50th anniversary of the merger between the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the American labor movement stands at a critical juncture. Four affiliated unions—United Food and Commercial Workers, UNITE HERE, SEIU and the Teamsters —have chosen to boycott the AFL-CIO Convention, and their leaders have declined to stand for election to the Executive Council. In addition, two of those unions—SEIU and the Teamsters—have announced their disaffiliation from the federation.
The delegates to the 2005 Convention are making critical decisions affecting the future of our movement. The ill-considered choice by some union leaders not to participate in this process silences their members’ voices. And the disaffiliation of two major unions deprives the federation, its state, area and local labor bodies and its trade and industrial departments at the national, state and local levels of an important participant in the development, implementation and funding of the federation’s programs.
THEREFORE, we call upon the Executive Council to hold a special meeting to address these issues as soon as possible. The Executive Council shall consider the impact on the federation’s ability to carry out its organizing and issues mobilization work on behalf of working families and shall adopt such measures as it deems necessary and appropriate to ensure this important work continues. In addition, the Council shall consider and address the consequences of these disaffiliations for the federation’s trade and industrial departments. The Executive Council shall establish an interim and transitional plan to assist those central labor councils and state federations that meet the federation’s Standards and Benchmarks for State and Local Labor Councils and that are impacted by the recent disaffiliations to ensure these organizations are able to carry out the federation’s organizational and political mobilization programs on behalf of working families.