In addition to reelecting Sweeney and his leadership team, the 800 delegates attending the labor conclave approved new rules for organizing, mobilizing political and legislative efforts and an increase in funds to strengthening the federation and state and local union movements that will lose dues money from the three unions that have disaffiliated. The AFL-CIO constitution prohibits representatives from unions that are non-members from participating in central labor councils, state labor federations or affiliated departments.

The delegates agreed to create a strategic organizing fund and establish a committee to encourage union mergers. Officials also agreed to boost labor’s political influence by launching year-round programs and not limiting grassroots activities to election years. Sweeney also said he would appoint a committee to develop recommendations on how state and local union movements can respond to the impact of disaffiliation by the three unions.

ohn J. Sweeney’s reelection July 27 to another four-year term as president of the AFL-CIO was overshadowed by a third union pulling out of the labor federation. On July 29, the day after the AFL-CIO’s convention ended, the 1.4-million member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union said it would follow the teamsters and the service employees. Those three unions, along with four others, are founding members of the Change to Win Coalition (ENR 8/1 p. 12).