WASHINGTON — The United Food and Commercial Workers Union hosted a meeting at its headquarters here earlier this month to discuss how to reunite the U.S. labor movement.
While UFCW officials declined comment on the substance of the talks, a union spokesman told SN that UFCW President Joseph Hansen “is taking an active leadership role in conversations among the unions based on his desire for the labor movement to be as strong as it can possibly be.”
Published reports said the seven unions that broke away from the AFL-CIO four years ago to form a coalition called Change to Win might be willing to reunite into a single entity.
Change to Win has 5 million members; the AFL-CIO has 10 million members.
At the time of the split, some unions that joined Change to Win said they wanted to see more resources devoted to organizing efforts, as opposed to political lobbying, and were frustrated by the bureaucracy they said they faced at the AFL-CIO.
Industry sources suggested that additional meetings to discuss reunification of the labor movement could take place over the next few weeks.
Though the meeting here was facilitated by David Bonior, a former Michigan congressman who is a member of Barack Obama's economic transition team, the incoming Obama administration is not playing a role in the talks, sources noted. However, they said the administration would like to see a united labor front.