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 coming together to work regionally as Area Labor Federations (ALFs).
“Having many Central Labor Councils and affiliated unions come together is always a learning process. A lot of good things can come out of collaboration,” says Dave Page, who serves as President of both USW Local 1327 and the Fond du Lac County Labor Council. “We are striving to make sure that everyone has a say in the new organization and that we are better able to mobilize around the political concerns of working families.”
The Northeast Wisconsin Area Labor Federation, which held their first meeting back in September, serves affiliated unions throughout Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Oconto, Outagamie, Sheboygan and Winnebago Counties.
“This Area Labor Federation is about laying the building blocks for stronger political action,” according to Shane Griesbach, Business Representative and Executive Board Member of IUOE Local 139. “We need to be able to back the elected officials who vote with workers, and get rid of the ones who don’t.”
The Northeast Wisconsin ALF meeting on Saturday, January 30 continued the strategic planning process. Participants also heard a presentation on the urgent need to create good, family-wage jobs now.
“I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen so far,” says Jeff Selin of the Fox Valley Area Labor Council and IBEW Local 2150. “There is strength in unity. We are building a stronger, more unified labor movement.”
(Photo: (from left to right) Mark Buss of UA Local 400, Shane Griesbach of IOUE Local 139, Gary Ruhl of then Northeast Wisconsin Building Trades Council, Larry Lautenschlager of the Winnebago County Labor Council, Robert Lutze of the Lakes Regional Labor Council, Barb Felde of the Sheboygan County Labor Council, Dave Page of the Fond du Lac County Labor Council, Mike Haak of IBEW 2150, Jeff Selin of the Fox Valley Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO staff Todd Anderson, Tony Vanderbloemen of the Greater Green Bay Area Labor Council, and Timm Driscoll of the Alliance for Retired Americans. Photo Credit: Greg Hinds. Visit flickr for more photos from the January 30th meeting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wisaflcio/sets/72157623206762831/)