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Schaitberger Addresses AFL-CIO Reform at CA Labor Federation Conference
Posted On: May 25, 2005
Schaitberger Addresses AFL-CIO Reform at CA Labor Federation Conference

Schaitberger Addresses AFL-CIO Reform at CA Labor Federation Conference

May 24, 2005 – Speaking at the California Labor Federation Legislative Conference May 23 in Sacramento, IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger told the group of state union leaders, “I believe the AFL-CIO and the labor movement as a whole are at a critical crossroads. The very survival of our movement is at stake.”

Characterizing the institution of organized labor as “approaching the brink of irrelevancy,” Schaitberger outlined the changes he sees as necessary to ensure a future for the AFL-CIO. “We need to significantly change our political strategy and tactics,” he stated.

Citing the labor movement’s losses in the last two presidential elections and the last five congressional election cycles, Schaitberger explained, “We can’t build an effective political structure on a false premise. I don’t want to be part of a political strategy that is the very definition of crazy – to keep doing things the same way and getting the same results. We must adjust, retool and embark on new strategies to change the course of our political future.”

Using the IAFF as an example of the direction he believes the labor movement must take, Schaitberger described his union’s bi-partisan political approach. “It’s simple,” he said. “If you’re with us on issues important to our members, then we will be your most steadfast and potent ally, regardless of party affiliation.”

To view General President Schaitberger’s entire speech to the California Labor Federation Legislative Conference

 

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