Submitted by Southern Maine Central Labor Council
WHEREAS, the continuing decline in union membership is destructive to the well-being of all workers, but especially so for union members who have lost their jobs due to outsourcing, privatization, corporate globalization and other manifestations of corporate greed; and
WHEREAS, displaced union members, as veterans of the class struggle, deserve the respect, honor and benefits befitting their veteran status; and
WHEREAS, over the years some unions have developed associate member programs of various kinds and with various degrees of success; and
WHEREAS, realizing the objects of such associate member programs—retaining the involvement of our displaced union members and providing them the best practicable access to a wide range of benefits—is clearly beneficial both to our members and to our union organizations; and
WHEREAS, Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has achieved remarkable growth, recruiting 1 million members in less than two years, has mobilized members to take action and has provided information to members that has been crucial in their decisions about how to vote; and
WHEREAS, two out of five Working America members were once union members or come from a union family and no longer had a tie to the union movement, but as members of Working America are especially responsive to our message;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the 25th Constitutional Convention of the AFL-CIO endorses and supports the expansion of Working America to incorporate dislocated union members through automatic membership and to expand Working America to the broader community of unorganized workers as practicable, and we hereby refer the implementation of such a program to the Executive Council.