FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2001
Contact: Harry Kelber
AFL-CIO NEEDS ONE DELEGATE, ONE VOTE
TO REPLACE EGREGIOUSLY UNFAIR SYSTEM
The AFL-CIO Executive Council is a self-perpetuating oligarchy that does the labor movement incalculable harm, veteran labor journalist Harry Kelber asserts in a letter sent to Council members last week.
Kelber, editor of The Labor Educator newsletter and a union activist since the 1930s, is a long-time critic of the egregiously unfair and discriminatory convention voting practices mandated by the AFL-CIO Constitution. For example, the Federation of Professional Athletes, with only 1,700 members, controls nearly three times the convention votes of all 50 AFL-CIO state federations and all 575 central labor councils combined.
As Kelber points out, for more than a century the voting power and influence of international unions has been magnified at the expense of state and local labor bodies whose representatives become little more than window-dressing at the labor federations biennial conventions. These same delegates from state and local bodies are labors front-line troops in all of its economic and political efforts.
The Executive Council will hold its quarterly meeting in Boston on April 30-May 1. To prevent another sham, automatic re-election of all incumbents by voice vote at the upcoming convention (Dec. 4-7 in Las Vegas), Kelber is urging the adoption of a one delegate, one vote resolution to amend the federations Constitution.
The full text of the letter is attached.