In The News
To better serve and win, labor restructures all its state councils
November delegates were walked through, step by step, the vision of the New Alliance to totally restructure the state’s nearly 30 labor councils to create a political and educational battering ram for policies and candidates that understand the needs of working families.
Among the changes on the immediate horizon:
The Milwaukee County Labor Council AFL-CIO will probably have to change its name to reflect an expanded role as the labor councils of Washington and Ozaukee merge with it.
Six service areas will soon blanket the state, each with permanent field staff assisting locals geographically while coordinating the campaigns of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. One such service area will combine Rock, Racine, Kenosha and Waukesha counties even as the Milwaukee council continues to cooperate closely.
Outlying councils will be served through agreements with Minnesota and Michigan.
Two pilot Area Labor Federations (known as ALFS) will be created out of existing regional affiliates and councils to work on achieving critical mass and consistent programs, without enforcing per capita tax systems or treasuries such as Milwaukee and Madison have. That may change as the ALFs, as these federations are known, take hold. But it will be up to members to determine that, even as they are served with staff from the state AFL-CIO.
One ALF will have jurisdiction for Waupaca, Marathon, Portage, Wood, Lincoln, Adams, Langlade, Menominee and Shawano counties. The other will cover Brown Kewaunee, Door, Manitowoc, Calumet, Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Outagamie, Oconto, Sheboygan and Green Lake.
A formal convocation will take place in January of 2008 when the state AFL-CIO will also expand its board.
Milwaukee’s council will first seek to prove “our value by talking to their leadership and members“ in Washington and Ozaukee counties “about how best to serve them,” noted Sheila Cochran. She is Milwaukee’s chief operating officer and secretary-treasurer. Milwaukee has full time staff where the absorbed labor councils do not.
Full details of the New Alliance plans for Wisconsin are in the November edition of the Labor Press.