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Statement by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney On SEIU, UNITE/ HERE, IBT and UFCW’s Decision to Not Attend AFL-CIO Convention

Source: AFL-CIO

The delegates to the AFL-CIO convention will make major decisions about changing workers’ lives this week, no matter what happens. It’s a shame for working people that before the first vote has been cast, four unions have decided that if they can’t win, they won’t show up for the game.

SEIU, UNITE / HERE, the Teamsters and UFCW should come argue for their ideas and listen to others. That’s how democracies work.

Not to attend the convention - - especially when the differences that remain between our proposals are so narrow - - is an insult to their union brothers and sisters, and to all working people. The fact is that the real issue for these unions is not one of policy or direction, but rather who controls and leads the Federation…and it’s fundamentally wrong to use working people’s issues as a fig leaf for a power struggle.

It’s far easier to tear down a union movement than to build one. America’s working people cannot afford for unions to declare ‘it’s my way or the highway’ when workers are under the biggest assault in 80 years. Unity and solidarity are the cornerstone of our strength.


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