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About Northwest labor press. (Portland , Ore.) 1987-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 1, 2006)
AFL-CIO Executive Council extends Solidarity Charters
The question is: Will
Change to Win unions
go along with the plan?
WASHINGTON, D.C. (PAI) — The
AFL-CIO Executive Council voted
Nov. 14 to extend the “Solidarity Char-
ters” program through 2008. Charters
let Change to Win (CTW) local unions
participate in state federations and local
central labor councils.
Whether CTW will take them up on
it is another story.
In its statement, the AFL-CIO ex-
plained the 2006 election campaign
showed the value of the charters, allow-
ing the CTW locals from the United
Food and Commercial Workers, the
Teamsters, the Laborers, the Service
Employees, UNITE HERE, the Car-
penters and the United Farm Workers to
join state feds and central labor coun-
cils. In most cases, the AFL-CIO and
CTW combined political operations to
present one coordinated labor campaign
in the run-up to the 2006 mid-term elec-
The CTW locals were also supposed
to pay proportional shares of the costs
for joint efforts, the AFL-CIO statement
said. But it said there have been some
“The disaffiliated (CTW) unions
have still not reached a ‘fair share’
agreement on the disaffiliated national
unions helping to fund the local bodies.
There has also been some raiding
PDC to discuss construction wages Dec. 6
The Wednesday, Dec. 6, Portland Development Commission board meeting
will serve as a fourth work session to discuss wage standards on public-private
construction projects that PDC helps finance. The meeting will include a panel
discussion on apprenticeship and training, as well as public testimony.
The PDC Board has heard testimony from workers, contractors, union offi-
cials and bureaucrats over the past three months.
The Board will discuss their intentions for the parameters of a wage policy at
the Dec. 6 meeting, but it is unlikely they will adopt an actual policy at that time.
Also on the agenda will be a presentation of PDC’s Diversity Report.
The meeting starts at 8 a.m. at 222 NW Fifth Ave., Portland.
among unions, which is prohibited un-
der the Solidarity Charters,” the AFL-
CIO statement said.
The AFL-CIO established the char-
ters program after the loss of the CTW
locals, starting in July 2005, led to
crises at dozens of state feds and CLCs.
Many lost 40 percent or more of their
funding, people or both. State and local
leaders pressured the national AFL-CIO
to create a working agreement with
The result was the charters, and the
AFL-CIO issued some 2,500 of them to
Change to Win locals that wanted to
stay in state feds or labor councils.
In Oregon, Solidarity Charters have
primarily benefited central labor coun-
cils. Three of the states largest locals —
Service Employees Locals 503 and 49,
and United Food and Commercial
Workers Local 555 — are affiliated
with various labor councils in the state,
but none maintains a Solidarity Charter
with the Oregon AFL-CIO.
Creation of charters led to a later
AFL-CIO working agreement with the
independent National Education Asso-
ciation, letting locals of the nation’s
largest union — with more than 2.3 mil-
lion members — join state feds and la-
bor councils on roughly the same terms.
Whether Change to Win will con-
tinue with the charters is still open. Ser-
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vice Employees President Andy Stern,
whose union is CTW’s largest, has said
in the past that he is skeptical about con-
tinuing the charters. And CTW Chair
Anna Burger said in a post-election in-
terview the charters are still under dis-
“We think it (the program) worked
out in some places,” she said. Burger
added CTW, unlike the AFL-CIO, did
not establish state and local federations
of its own. Several have emerged, she
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