Enter the ‘Change to Win’ Coalition

By June 17, 2005Labor Unions

drip.jpg Wow, leave town for a day or two and the fertilizer hits the ventilator. Can’t trust the boys over at the AFL-CIO to keep it quiet long enough for us to get out into America and back. Big deal on Wednesday with the roll out of the “Change to Win Coalition“. You’ll recall this was the Gang of Five — now Six and growing — committed to “creating a large-scale, coordinated campaign to rebuild the American labor movement.”

On their website, you can see all relevant documents, and it’s worth the trip to glance at some of this stuff, because it really is extraordinary. A few months shy of the 50th anniversary of the joining of the AFL with the CIO, they are about to be put asunder. As one regular blog reader wrote, “If the Gang of Five and company are ‘only posturing’, they sure are pulling out all the stops.” Our sentiments exactly.

The Gang laid out a 12-point plan, looking an awful lot — OK, exactly like — Andy Stern’s agenda thus far. It ranges from directing half of the AFL’s budget to growth to actively supporting mergers of unions by industry and creating a new governance model. They even put forth a Constitution, hardly the hallmark of a group that’s going away any time soon.

The Five Amigos were joined today by Joe Hanson of the United Food and Commercial Workers, who sent a searing letter to John Sweeney earlier this month. Look for Carpenter’s President Doug McCarron to join next. Remember, he already left the AFL-CIO.

A Cuban defector once said it wasn’t the defection that was hard, it was the decision to defect that was torturous. After that, the defection was easy. The Change to Win Coalition this week crossed the Rubicon. Let’s see if Pyrrhus Sweeney hangs on.