Submitted by the AFL-CIO Executive Council
THE LABOR MOVEMENT MUST LEAD a national effort to turn around our nation’s failed policies that are hurting working families, especially in the areas of health care, trade policy and retirement security. We can do so by championing a comprehensive policy reform agenda that supports families, communities and American industries. We must not fail in this effort. We must create a more vibrant American labor movement and renew the hope of all American workers.
Resolutions 3 through 6 lay out a comprehensive statement of our values and our vision for America, describe where we stand and provide a detailed blueprint of where we need to go. We will not only survive, but we will lead in these challenging times.
These resolutions discuss:
n The values we fight for as a movement, focusing primarily on economic security (public health programs and Social Security), the indispensable role of public schools in securing opportunity for all and our commitment to the principle of equality;
n The importance of good jobs; what has happened to wages, health care and retirement benefits and important workplace rights and protections; and our determination to fight for good jobs; n The Wall Street Agenda that governs economic policy and our commitment to fight for an alternative agenda that puts workers first and restores the American Dream;
n The precarious global imbalances and the failure of current trade policies, the need to reform trade and immigration policies as part of a coherent national economic strategy and the importance of our international solidarity work.
The four resolutions express our deeply held values—core American values that motivate and drive working families at home, at work and in our communities—and our key goals and objectives.
The AFL-CIO will assemble the resolutions into a single volume with a preface that expresses the values and vision of the American labor movement and defines A Working Family Agenda for America that we can use to lead a national grassroots campaign to change our country’s policies.
To succeed in bringing about these massive policy shifts, we need to work from the ground up instead of the top down. We need our most valuable asset— the members of America’s labor unions—to be our frontline warriors in the policy and legislative battles. They need the ammunition to be effective in these battles.
Therefore, we commit ourselves to a new and energetic program to educate and mobilize our rankand-file members on an ongoing basis, together with all national unions, constituency groups and allies, on these crucial policy initiatives.
n We will develop grassroots educational materials on the core issues articulated in the policy resolutions and lead a massive effort among national unions, state federations, central labor councils and constituency groups to inform and educate working families. n We will develop and implement an ambitious train-the-trainer program to use and deliver these materials. We will commit to a goal of training an average of five facilitators in every central labor council by the end of 2006 and to training additional facilitators on an ongoing basis. n We will tailor the educational materials to ensure they are relevant to the concerns and interests of particular sectors, regions and constituencies so all our members can be fully engaged and motivated.
n The AFL-CIO will develop and lead a national and local grassroots strategy on health care reform, trade policy and retirement security, working closely with all national unions, constituency groups, Working America and allies. n The AFL-CIO officers will develop a concrete implementation strategy and timetable for this action plan, which they will present to the next meetings of the Executive Committee and the Executive Council for approval. The officers will establish an action plan and implementation working group, made up of Executive Council members and appropriate AFL-CIO staff, to follow up on this strategy and report back on progress made toward the objectives. The working group will conduct an ongoing evaluation of the program so it can be constantly improved and refined.