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Sweeney: "A real plus for our movement ...."

AFL-CIO Rolls Out Solidarity Charter Program to Reunite Local Labor Movements
Local Unions Will Be Able to Affiliate Fully with State, Regional and Local Union Movements

WASHINGTON--While discussions with the recently-disaffiliated national unions continue, the AFL-CIO is moving forward with a Solidarity Charter program that will unite the labor movement at the local level. The program reflects changes made in discussions with the Change to Win national unions. "We are now ready to roll out the program and get about the work of building strong, united state and local labor movements," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. Noting that while discussions on some issues continue, Sweeney said "no other differences remain that would prevent the Solidarity Charter program's implementation."

Solidarity Charters offer a way to reunite state and local labor movements by bringing locals of recently-disaffiliated national unions back into the AFL-CIO's state and local organizations.

"Solidarity Charters will enable the labor movement to remain united at the local level where everyone wanted to stick together," said Sweeney. "Local unions will be able to continue working together to advance the interests of working families in organizing campaigns, strikes, boycotts and political activities, and that's a real plus for our movement."

Change to Win local unions that are given Solidarity Charters will make per capita tax payments based on their membership to local and state AFL-CIO organizations at the rates applicable to other affiliated local unions. They will have the same rights and obligations as other affiliated local unions, including participation in governance and affairs of the state or local body, eligibility of their members to run for and hold office in the state or local body, and the status and treatment of their members within the state and local body.

Discussions are continuing on the specific amount and mechanism for a solidarity fee to be paid by the Change to Win unions to help the national AFL-CIO cover administrative overhead and costs of supporting its state federations and central labor councils. If AFL-CIO trade and industrial departments request them, Solidarity Charters with the same or similar requirements will allow Change to Win unions to join their local or regional councils.

"The heart and soul of the union movement is at the local level, in union halls across this nation," said Sweeney. "The Solidarity Charter program unites our local labor movements to be the strongest fight-back machines possible against anti-worker corporations and politicians."

Under Solidarity Charters, Change to Win local unions will:

  • Participate fully in the Federation's member mobilization and political programs, including granting access to membership lists via a mechanism mutually agreed upon by the AFL-CIO and Change to Win, and be bound by whatever actions or decisions of the Federation that are binding on all affiliated local unions;

  • Agree not to raid or support raiding of any other local union participating in the state or local central body;

  • Support the regular struggles of unions in their jurisdiction, including organizing campaigns, strikes, boycotts and other activities;

  • Recognize that local unions of national unions not affiliated with the National AFL-CIO may not participate in any governing body or convention of the National AFL-CIO.

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