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6/15/2005

Statement by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney on Formation of Union Coalition Outside the AFL-CIO

Source: AFL-CIO

Workers are under the biggest assault in 80 years—now more than ever we need a united labor movement. The clearest path to growing the union movement and helping more workers form unions is by exercising our greatest strength—solidarity. Now is the time to use our unity to build real worker power, not create a real divide that serves the corporations and the anti-worker politicians.

After broad input from the union movement, we have proposed a plan which we believe produces the greatest investment in organizing—it could result in $500 million a year for organizing, or $2.5 billion over five years, and that's from the national union level alone. Organizing capacity and political power are intertwined—workers need a union movement that succeeds on both fronts.

I sincerely hope that the unions forming this coalition outside the AFL-CIO will continue to join—and help lead—the rest of the union movement from within the AFL-CIO. United together, we can best continue to pursue change and help working people meet these urgent challenges. Democracy is always challenging, but it is essential to hear all voices to realize real, far-reaching change. Disunity only plays into the hands of workers’ worst enemies at a time when working families are already under attack.

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