PITTSBURGH – The last day of the AFL-CIO Convention opened on a high note as newly elected federation President Richard Trumka announced that Unite-Here is re-affiliating with the federation. The 250,000 member Unite-Here was one of the unions that left the AFL-CIO in 2005 to join the Change-to-Win federation.

Unite-Here President John Wilhelm said, “In Unite-Here, we know what a fighter for workers Rich Trumka is and we pledge to stand with him and fight to get workers what they deserve: a piece of the American dream. Solidarity will always overcome division and we will continue to be a strong and growing member in the house of labor.

The newly elected leadership of the AFL-CIO has been saying that organizational unity in the labor movement would be a natural outgrowth of de-facto unity that has been building in the movement for years – particularly around the 2006 and 2008 elections, the fight for national health care and the struggle for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.

The move by Unite-Here indicates, observers say, that the new AFL-CIO leadership will push for unions that left the federation to rejoin. At one time it was thought that consideration was being given to form an entirely new federation.

 

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John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is editor in chief at Peoplesworld.org. He started as labor editor of the People's World in May, 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.

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