On July 25th, over a thousand union delegates will gather at Chicago's Navy Pier for the 2005 AFL-CIO Convention. Confronted by decades of union busting, benefit cuts, privatization, job and pension loss, racism, continuing attacks on public education and health care systems, a dismal foreign policy record, and the abject failure by the Federation to stem the rightward corporate lurch of the Democratic Party, delegates will be presented with a series of contending leadership proposals to deal with a growing organizational crisis -- and the possibility of a split within the AFL-CIO. Whether rank and file delegates can actually have an impact on this process, or whether it will be decided by a handful of powerful business union leaders remains to be seen. But in the days ahead, rank and file union activists will also be strategizing to rebuild a militant and democratic U.S. labor movement -- and strengthen solidarity with workers abroad.
On Saturday, July 23, activists will convene the first national Labor Conference for Palestine. On Sunday, July 24, the National "Take Back Our Unions" Rank and File Conference will meet to discuss the ongoing crisis in the AFL-CIO - followed later that evening by a film screening of "Waging a Living". On Sunday afternoon union members will join with Latin American solidarity groups for an rally at Navy Pier in support of a convention resolution challeging the AFL-CIO's relationship with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) -- and NED schemes to intervene in countries like Venezuela. US Labor Against the War and other labor groups will also try and float convention resolutions calling for an immediate withdrawal of US troops and an end to the occupation of Iraq.
Related Sites: Labor Action Coalition | Labor Notes | Labor Net | Labor Beat | Community Labor News | Workers Independent News Service (WINS) | LabourStart | Latin American Solidarity Coalition | Say No to NED | U.S. Labor Against the War