AFL-CIO To Invest Millions In New Worker Organizing Efforts

by | Oct 14, 2022 | Politics

The AFL-CIO labor federation is increasing the fees paid by its member unions to fund more organizing and help restore union membership after years of decline.The federation’s board voted to approve a new measure Wednesday that will raise the per-capita contributions each union makes based on the size of its membership. Once the phased increases are in place, they would bring in roughly $11 million annually, all devoted to organizing campaigns.AdvertisementThe pot of money would go toward a new department within the federation called the Center for Transformational Organizing, where organizers and researchers will develop campaigns to boost union density in industries where organized labor has struggled to gain traction.Liz Shuler, president of the AFL-CIO, called the new fee structure an “unparalleled investment” at a time when workplaces are ripe for unionization.“After decades of struggle, we’re in a moment infused with excitement, energy and hope,” Shuler said in a statement. “Every working person in this country should have the freedom to form or join a union and collectively bargain a contract that delivers fair pay, good benefits and a safe and healthy working environment.”U.S. companies have recently faced a burst of organizing by their employees, with workers filing for union elections at a rate not seen in years. But despite the recent successes at companies like Amazon, Starbucks and Apple, the long-term trend for unions has not been good. These days just one in ten U.S. workers belongs to a union, roughly half the rate of 40 years ago.AdvertisementAFL-CIO President Liz Shuler called the new increased fees “an unparalleled investment.”via Associated PressThe AFL-CIO, which is not a union itself but an association of 58 unions, hopes the new infusion of organizing resources will help turn those membership numbers around. The general board that approved the fee increase includes representatives from all the member unions, meaning those union leaders decided to increase the amount they pay to the AFL-CIO.Under the current per-capita structure, unions pay 65 cents per month for each worker to be part of the AFL-CIO. That fee will go up to 75 cents following two 5-cent bumps, the first of which comes early next year. With roughly 9 million …

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