AFL-CIO Delegates Deliver on Diversity Pledge

IAM at Diversity Summit
IAM and TCU members at the AFL-CIO Diversity Summit included, from left, Assistant Legislative Director Hasan Solomon, TCU Assistant Legislative Director Tony Padilla, IAM Executive Assistant Diane Babineaux, Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, Jr., Canadian GVP Dave Ritchie, Western Territory GVP Gary Allen, two unidentified guests from other unions and Transportation GVP Robert Roach,

Four years ago, the delegates at the 2005 AFL-CIO Convention in Chicago approved an historic resolution to bring more women, more minorities and more young people into the ranks and leadership of the 56-union labor federation. This week, as the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention gets underway in Pittsburgh, PA, fully 43 percent of the delegates and alternate delegates are women and people of color.

“We believe a labor movement that is not busy being born is busy dying,” said outgoing AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, who praised the work of the federation unions to meet the diversity goal, despite extraordinary membership losses during the past eight years.

“We need to reach out to young workers more than ever before,” said IAM Executive Assistant Diane Babineaux, who led a delegation of Machinists who took part in this year’s Diversity Summit. “We need to recognize the moral as well as the economic reasons to make our unions more diverse, more inclusive and more representative of the communities we live in.”