AFL-CIO hopes to expand membership beyond unions

AP News
Posted: Sep 09, 2013 5:17 PM

The AFL-CIO plans to open its membership to more non-union groups in an effort to restore the influence of organized labor as traditional union rolls continue to decline.

A resolution approved Monday at the federation's quadrennial convention in Los Angeles would expand membership for workers who aren't covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka says unions are facing a crisis as membership has fallen to just 11.3 percent of the work force and state legislatures have curbed union bargaining rights. He is pushing the federation to strengthen ties with like-minded groups including the Sierra Club, NAACP and the National Organization for Women.

The resolution calls for expanding ties to the growing number of non-union worker advocacy groups, such as those seeking wage hikes for fast food workers.