Labor Sees Moment to Unify?

The largest labor organizations in the country have formed a coalition to guide talks of a unified labor movement: the AFL-CIO and Change to Win, in addition to major affiliate unions and the unaffiliated National Education Association, today formed a National Labor Coordinating Committee, chaired by former Rep. David Bonior, whose name was once floated as a possible Labor secretary for President Obama, and who heads American Rights at Work, a labor action group that works with unions, federations, and other pro-labor groups on legislative and political initiatives (such as the Employee Free Choice Act). The AFL-CIO and Change to Win have been in talks about possible unification this year. Change to Win, led by Andy Stern of SEIU, split away from the AFL-CIO in 2005; Change to Win claims to represent six million workers, while the AFL-CIO claims to represent 11 million.

With a labor-friendly president in the White House and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, labor now finds itself acting as a major player in two massive legislative/lobbying efforts: the Employee Free Choice Act and health care reform. Bonior today implied that labor needs to unify if it wants to take advantage of its newfound position of power: "Recognizing the historic moment we face, the American labor movement must unify to restore the American dream for working families...A unified labor movement is the way to ensure that the vast majority of Americans who want a union are able to join one," he said in a written statement announcing the new coalition.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In