For decades, the political system has failed working people. Acting on behalf of corporations and the rich and powerful, the political system has been taking away, one after another, the pillars that support working people’s right to good jobs and secure benefits. Our opponents know that unions are the last bulwark for working people, and so set as their top priority taking away the freedom of working people to negotiate for a better life. Moreover, politicians restrict voting rights, legalize unlimited contributions and gerrymander in order to entrench themselves and preserve the corporate status quo.
Against this, we have one choice. We must give working people greater political power by speaking with an unquestionably independent political voice, backed by a unified labor movement. The time has passed when we can passively settle for the lesser of two evils. We must aggressively foster a new generation of elected representatives who share our aspirations for growing the labor movement and meeting the challenges of globalization and the emerging 21st century workplace.
Union members can redress the imbalance in power by organizing in their workplaces and their neighborhoods to drive our members, their families and their neighbors to participate in critical elections and to hold officials accountable to a pro-worker agenda.
Today, we resolve to take all necessary steps to realize working people’s aspirations by joining together across the movement and committing to our members and working people everywhere that we will adhere to the following principles:
- Define a pro-worker agenda across the sectors of our movement to hold as a joint standard for all candidates and officials, regardless of party;
- Establish a communications framework to communicate our agenda across the federation and with our allies;
- Prioritize year-round member-to-member communication as part of a commitment to heightened internal organizing and workplace education;
- Mobilize working people who are not yet in unions;
- Promote effective models for recruiting, training, mentoring and supporting union brothers and sisters running for elected office; and
- Promote greater participation in the democratic process by opposing voter suppression and boosting participation by young people, seniors and people of color.
In short, we commit ourselves to working together—across unions, across sectors, across states—to tackle the challenges that lie ahead and to find common ground on which to strengthen and grow our movement.