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AFL-CIO President Salutes APWU For Work on ‘Solidarity’ Campaign

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08/14/2007 - In a letter to the union’s Executive Office, AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney has commended the APWU for making a solid case for solidarity.

Citing the 2006 APWU National Convention Resolution that encourages affiliation with state and local labor councils, Sweeney wrote that he was pleased with the APWU’s “serious commitment” to the labor federation’s Solidarity Affiliation Campaign.

“The continuing campaign that the Secretary-Treasurer’s office has undertaken to promote the value of state feds and [Central Labor Councils] in your conferences and trainings is exactly the kind of effort that is so necessary to make the ideals of solidarity become a reality in our communities,” Sweeney said.

The APWU convention resolution established a program in which the national union refunds 50 percent of the costs of any local’s per capita payments to a state or local labor federation.

“We have been impressed with the leadership your union has shown,” Sweeney wrote. In the May 29 letter, he cited Secretary-Treasurer Terry Stapleton’s work on the AFL-CIO committee created to increase the number of local-union affiliations with state and local federations.

The Solidarity Affiliation Campaign had a goal to increase state-fed membership by 10 percent last year. In 2005, 25 percent of APWU locals and states were members of their state federations. By the end of 2006, participation had increased to 29 percent. At the CLC level, the numbers were better, with APWU participation in “local feds” at 37 percent.

Stapleton said that he hopes to increase these numbers by the end of 2007 to 49 percent APWU affiliation at the state level (federation-wide, the number currently is 67 percent), and 57 percent at the local level (federation-wide, 51 percent are affiliated).

“We all have a long way to go to build a stronger unified labor movement at the state and local level,” Sweeney wrote. “Thanks to the efforts your union has undertaken, we are moving in that direction, and working families across our country will benefit as a result.”