SEIU board authorizes split from AFL-CIO

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The executive board of the Service Employees International Union, the nation's largest labor union, has granted authority to its leadership to cut ties with the AFL-CIO.

During a meeting June 11 in San Francisco the SEIU executive board cited a "fundamental and apparently irreconcilable disagreement" over how to rebuild the ailing labor movement. It gave the union's executive committee the authority to decide if and when to "disaffiliate" from the AFL-CIO. However, no decision has been made about whether the SEIU will leave the federation. 

Prior to the board's decision, executive boards of local unions representing 70% of SEIU membership adopted resolutions authorizing disaffiliation from the AFL-CIO, according to the SEIU board. The Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, Unite Here and the Laborers could follow the lead of the SEIU.

SEIU has more than 1.7 million members nationwide, including 145,000 nursing home workers. The AFL-CIO is the central labor federation of more than 50 unions. While more than 30% of American workers belonged to unions 50 years ago, only about 12% are union members today.


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