On July 25th, the General President and General Secretary-Treasurer, based on the unanimous authorization of the General Executive Board, notified the AFL-CIO that our Union has withdrawn from the AFL-CIO.
We have reached this decision as a matter of principle and because we believe that this course of action is necessary to serve the best interests of our members and all workers and their families.
The percentage of workers represented by Unions has steadily fallen to the point that less than 13 percent of U.S. workers are represented — the lowest percentage since the birth of the modern labor movement.
The simple fact is that the status quo is not working. To be relevant again in the lives of the great majority of American workers and their families, the American labor movement must focus on rebuilding its strength and power by organizing the millions of workers who are unrepresented. And we cannot begin to embark upon this critical task without dramatic change in the entrenched and outmoded structures and thinking that unfortunately characterize the current AFL-CIO.
For that purpose, the General President, General Secretary-Treasurer and other members of the General Executive Board have enthusiastically supported the formation of the Change to Win Coalition, a group of seven Unions (IBT, LIUNA, SEIU, UFCW, UNITE HERE, Carpenters and United Farm Workers) who believe that labor can grow if we leverage our existing resources and focus clearly on empowering workers.
We believe that the only way to build solidarity and unity is for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to chart a new course of action, work with the like-minded Unions that are part of the Change To Win Coalition, and pursue programs that will accelerate organizing, increase Union density in our core industries, rebuild the labor movement and insure a better future for workers and their families. Our Coalition will not allow Corporate America to pit one Union against another to the detriment of our members and their families.
This action makes our movement stronger, not weaker. As never before, it will focus our energy and the resources of like-minded Unions on organizing the one thing that matters and that can save the labor movement in this country and promise a better future for our members and all working people.
We are committed to cooperating with the AFL-CIO and its affiliates on actions and issues that vitally affect workers and their families.