2013 AFL-CIO Convention Underway in Los Angeles

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) delivered a rousing speech to delegates of the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention in Los Angeles.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren was given a rock star’s welcome at the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention in Los Angeles, where she credited delegates for her recent election and emphatically declared her support for labor’s goals and achievements.

IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja called for debate and a vote on an AFL-CIO constitutional amendment to address raids by non-affiliated unions.
Young Machinist Michelle Wyville spoke in support of Resolution 19, a measure to create the “Young Worker Organization” of the AFL-CIO, charged with advising the Executive Board on the education, empowerment and organization of the next generation of union members.

“Our agenda is America’s agenda,” said Warren. “The American people know that the system is rigged against them and they want us to level the playing field. That’s our mandate. That’s what we’re here to do.”

Delegates at the quadrennial convention will consider more than 48 Resolutions, including many designed to create affiliations and partnerships with progressive and community-based organizations. Delegates will also vote on an IAM-sponsored Resolution calling on the federation to oppose any proposal to privatize the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

Among the nine constitutional amendments under consideration at the convention are four submitted by the IAM, including one that calls for support of AFL-CIO unions subjected to raids by non-affiliated unions, and another that would ensure a new generation of federation leaders by creating a mandatory retirement age of 65 for new officers elected to the position of President, Secretary-Treasurer and Executive Vice President.

Transportation GVP Sito Pantoja spoke forcefully from the floor about the need for the federation to take a strong stand against raids by non-affiliated organizations. “Raiding is the poison pill that can destroy the labor movement,” declared Pantoja, who was adamant about the need for action by delegates on the issue.

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