Over the course of the annual AFL-CIO convention held September 8-11, the labor organization adopted a number of resolutions and outlined its organizing strategy for the coming year. During the first day of the convention, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) provided the afternoon’s opening keynote address, calling for an increase in the minimum wage, and criticizing the “pro-corporate” U.S. Supreme Court.
The second day focused on ways to create and promote “new forms” of union membership that would appeal to younger workers and nonunion members. Specifically, AFL-CIO delegates adopted two resolutions – Resolution 5: A Broad, Inclusive and Effective Labor Movement and Resolution 16: Building Enduring Labor-Community Partnerships – backing closer cooperation between the AFL-CIO and union front organizations (UFOs), commonly known as “worker centers.”
On day three, AFL-CIO delegates adopted a number of resolutions that provide insight into the organization’s priorities. Notably, delegates adopted Resolution 10, Raising Wages Is the Answer, which outlines the organization’s broad policy goals, including support for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), Healthy Families Act, Paycheck Fairness Act, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Fair Playing Field Act, and a minimum wage hike, among others. The resolution opposed the U.S. House-passed “comp time” bill, known as the Working Families Flexibility Act, and the Computer Professionals Update Act. Delegates also adopted two resolutions to support the AFL-CIO’s various global initiatives.
During the final day of the convention, AFL-CIO delegates adopted a resolution outlining their apprehension about the Affordable Care Act and making suggestions for change. Resolution 54 was submitted by the Building and Construction Trades Department, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the American Federation of Teachers. The Resolution states that “federal agencies administering the ACA have interpreted the Act in ways that are threatening the ability of workers to keep health care coverage through some collectively bargained, non-profit health care funds.”