Thursday, September 27, 2007

Change to Win federation sets plans for politics, organizing

The Change to Win federation set future plans for strategic organizing campaigns and approved a 10-cent-per-capita assessment for politics for the 2007-2008 election cycle, CTW Chair Anna Burger said.

In a press conference Tuesday after the federation's day-and-a-half convention in Chicago closed, Burger also said CTW's Strategic Organizing Center would step up its services to the member unions, training organizers, coordinating campaigns and marshaling financial resources, among other things.

But the political assessment was a new move, given CTW's prior emphasis on organizing, rather than politics--the point which led seven unions to split from the AFL-CIO in 2005. The seven – Carpenters, Laborers, Service Employees Teamsters, United Farm Workers, United Food & Commercial Workers and UNITE HERE -- felt the older labor federation put too much emphasis, relatively, on politics.

The new emphasis means in some states, CTW is setting up its own statewide political/organizing operations, while in others its unions' locals signed "Solidarity Charters" with AFL-CIO state federations and central labor councils for joint operations.

"In some of these states, the AFL-CIO operation"--the state fed or CLC--"is our operation," Burger stated. She singled out New York, Nevada and California. As for the Solidarity Charters in general, she added: "Wherever locals want to work together they can, and where they don't want to, they won't. Full story here......

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