PITTSBURGH – The last day of the AFL-CIO Convention opened on a high note as newly elected federation President Richard Trumka announced that Unite-Here is re-affiliating with the federation. The 250,000 member Unite-Here was one of the unions that left the AFL-CIO in 2005 to join the Change-to-Win federation.

Unite-Here President John Wilhelm said, “In Unite-Here, we know what a fighter for workers Rich Trumka is and we pledge to stand with him and fight to get workers what they deserve: a piece of the American dream. Solidarity will always overcome division and we will continue to be a strong and growing member in the house of labor.

The newly elected leadership of the AFL-CIO has been saying that organizational unity in the labor movement would be a natural outgrowth of de-facto unity that has been building in the movement for years – particularly around the 2006 and 2008 elections, the fight for national health care and the struggle for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.

The move by Unite-Here indicates, observers say, that the new AFL-CIO leadership will push for unions that left the federation to rejoin. At one time it was thought that consideration was being given to form an entirely new federation.




John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward and a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.