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Labour and racial equality

In 2005, the NUP formally dissolved and its five member unions, along with the Teamsters Union and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), created a new coalition, Change to Win, which introduced a program for reform of the AFL-CIO.

The coalition was founded on two basic principles:

  • Working people, including current union members, cannot win consistently without uniting millions more workers in unions.
  • Every worker in America has the right to a union that has the focus, strategy, and resources to unite workers in that industry and win.

Among the coalition’s proposals to achieve these objectives was encouraging unions to organize on an industry-wide basis, consolidating smaller unions within a few large unions, providing financial incentives to AFL-CIO member unions that channel resources to organizing new members and spending more money on organizing as opposed to electoral politics.

The new union’s members were largely service sector unions which represented large numbers of women, immigrants and people of color, as opposed to the manufacturing unions which formed the basis of labor’s strength for many years.

In July 2005, Change to Win elected SEIU secretary-treasurer Anna Burger as chair and UNITE HERE Executive Vice-President Edgar Romney as Treasurer.