The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO is reorganizing in order to become a more effective voice for Wisconsin workers. As part of this “New Alliance” some Labor Councils are merging to better serve their affiliates.
The newly formed Greater West Central Area Labor Council serves affiliated unions throughout Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties. These counties were formerly served by three separate Labor Councils.
“We have amended and approved our constitution to better serve the expanded area,” says Greater West Central Area Labor Council President Jack Connell, former President of the Eau Claire Area Labor Council. “We want to make sure that every area has a say, so specific executive board seats have been designated to represent the former Chippewa County and West Central Area Labor Councils.”
Strategic planning sessions for the Greater West Central Area Labor Council began in the fall, and the new Executive Board will begin implementing the plans in early February.
President Connell says that there is a lot of activity on the horizon, “On February 4th we will hold our first candidate screening for local races and plan on screening for the upcoming State Legislative races this summer. As in the past we will host the Eau Claire Labor Day Picnic. We look forward to building new relationships with unions both affiliated and non affiliated.”
The headquarters of the new organization will be housed in the former Eau Claire Labor Council offices at 2233 Birch Street.
“I can empathize with people who were used to the older structure and don’t like traveling longer distances to meet,” said Phil Swanhorst, Executive Board Member out of ATU Local 1310. “But in the long run I see the need to consolidate in order to be a stronger voice for working people in the region.”
(Top Photo: On January 14th, new Officers and Executive Board Members of the Greater West Central Wisconsin Area Labor Council were sworn in by Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President David Newby. Photo Credit: Andy Thompson. Bottom Photo: After the oaths were administered, the new Labor Council hosted a Holiday Party attended by several state legislators. In this photo Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President David Newby chats with State Representative Jeff Smith. Photo Credit: Jack Connell. For more pictures visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wisaflcio/sets/72157623278558910/.)