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Policy: Labor

AFL-CIO freezes out longshoremen

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Labor unions,Labor,AFL-CIO,Richard Trumka

In retaliation for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union's decision to disaffiliate from the AFL-CIO, the labor federation has denied "solidarity charters" to the ILWU's locals, according to Labor Notes.

Solidarity charters allow a union's locals to remain affiliated with the AFL-CIO even if the national union itself has left the federation. The charters helped the organizations to work together despite the differences between their leadership and kept open communication lines.

The AFL-CIO's action is a sign of the bitter feelings caused by the ILWU's departure. The 60,000-member union officially left the labor federation Aug. 29.

In a letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, ILWU President Robert McEllrath accused the federation of being passive as other unions attempted to takeover its traditional waterfront jobs.

McEllrath also criticized the AFL-CIO for pushing unions to back President Obama's health care law, which raises costs of union plans, and for backing an immigration bill that imposes "extremely long waiting periods" for citizenship.

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