The group issued the following statement:
"The goal of this meeting is to create a unified labor movement that can speak and act nationally on the critical issues facing working Americans. While we represent the largest labor unions, we recognize that unity requires broad participation. We also recognize our members are active and work through our institutions where they live and work. We will be reaching out to them."
This is a welcome move, especially in light of the current financial crisis, the anticipation that the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) will be passed and spark a large unionization drive nationally, and the ongoing globalization to which unions like the United Steel Workers are responding by building international relations with foreign unions in order to provide a united front to global corporations.
Attending the meeting were:
Larry Cohen, CWA; Leo Gerard, United Steel Workers; Ron Gettelfinger, Auto Workers; Joe Hansen, United Food and Commercial Workers; James Hoffa, Teamsters; Gerald McEntee, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Terry O'Sullivan, Laborers; Bruce Raynor, UNITE HERE; Andy Stern, Service Employees International Union; Dennis Van Roekel, National Education Association; Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers; and Ed Hill, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Also participating were AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Anna Burger, Chairperson of Change to Win.
Indiana in particular can benefit from both the unity of the labor movement and the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Considering Governor Daniels anti-union stand, a strong union movement that is rapidly expanding will help to provide a political counter weight to the Governor's anti-organized labor policies and help to raise the wages of many in the state who are now living in working poverty to the level of a living wage. Further, a stronger labor movement is good for helping to fight to keep plants open and to protect and expand funding for services that benefit working people.