AFL-CIO Forms Special Committee To Ward Off Independent Unions

The AFL-CIO has created an Independent Union Raiding Committee that will explore ways to stem the tide of workers decertifying AFL-CIO affiliates in favor of independent unions. According to the Bureau of National Affairs, the committee began its work “by looking at raiding by non-AFL-CIO unions” in the airline industry, but discovered that such campaigns are far more widespread.

Indeed, decertification elections have increased dramatically in the past few years, from 350 in 2001 to 433 in 2003.



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Committee co-chair Duane Woerth (president of the Air Line Pilots Association) mentioned the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) and the Carpenters as two unions engaged in raiding.

The Carpenters are one of the members of the New Unity Partnership, the coalition of four unions aiming to restructure the AFL-CIO (Labor Notes, October 2003). Internal NUP documents have listed responding to “external threats”—including AMFA—as one of their priorities for a restructured AFL-CIO.