AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters it’s time for the union to “be honest with ourselves” and admit immediate change is needed to remain solvent and relevant.
“We’ve been talking about the crisis that we’re in and the fact that we need to change and … be honest with ourselves,” Mr. Trumka said, calling for a union-wide evaluation during an executive council meeting in Florida, according to Politico.
His comments come at a time when union membership has hit new lows, fueled in part by legislative efforts around the nation to rein in bargaining powers and reform pensions. Mr. Trumka’s statements are notable in that they’re the first time he’s publicly recognized the union’s need to reform, Politico reports. And the changes he’s advocating are substantial.
“It is going to take structural changes. It’s also going to take us trying new stuff,” he said, in Politico.
AFSCME President Lee Saunders said similarly, according to Politico.
“I think we have to be creative. I think we have got to work with organizations that are concerned about the plight of workers whether they are a union or not,” he said.