Resolution 34: AFL-CIO Convention Resolution on Bipartisan Political Action

Submitted by the Building and Construction Trades Department and the International Union of Operating Engineers

Referred to the Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, the American labor movement was built on the need to protect the common interest of workers and on the belief that workers hold more power if they work collectively and in collaboration to achieve mutually beneficial goals; and

WHEREAS, the labor movement is charged with using all of its resources to advance its members’ interests in respect to job creation and the availability of sustainable wages, benefits, and working conditions; and

WHEREAS, the American labor movement has been known historically to work across party lines to ensure that the interests of its members and the American workforce at large are empowered and protected on the job; and

WHEREAS, our members benefit and the American political system is most successful when petty party politics are put aside and efforts are advanced that try to find common ground on difficult issues that strengthen the country as a whole; and

WHEREAS, both the Democratic and the Republican parties have a compelling historical commitment to advancing efforts to protect and encourage fairness and equity for workers; and

WHEREAS, America’s Building Trades Unions have acknowledged this indisputable history and successfully embraced and implemented a bipartisan approach to their combined political and legislative action programs; and

WHEREAS, former AFL-CIO President George Meany stated “we have a lot to do with the Democratic Party but we don’t run them, and they don’t run us”;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO embrace an approach for its political action program that seeks to foster greater political independence in order to become better inoculated against sudden shifts in the political winds; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO take practical steps, at every level of government, to cultivate and nurture relationships with members of all parties who are willing to put partisan politics aside and work to advance the interests of our members; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in congressional districts where the politically drawn lines dictate that a Republican candidate has an upper hand, that the AFL-CIO will encourage moderate candidates who support fairness and equity for workers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that it will now be the accepted  policy of the AFL-CIO to view and conduct its endorsement process, political giving, political communications, independent expenditures, SuperPAC efforts, and voter and Election Day GOTV field mobilization efforts in a pragmatic, bipartisan approach that focuses primarily on candidates’ positions on issues of direct importance to workers.