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AFL-CIO Declares Independence from Two-Party Political System

AFL-CIO Headquarters
Written by JoAnn Chateau

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) convened October 22-25 in St. Louis Missouri. They passed over 50 resolutions, ranging from health care, foreign policy, climate change, and the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. But two resolutions stand out as declarations of independence from a two-party political system.

AFL-CIO Resolution 2: An Independent Political Voice

“…We must give working people greater political power by speaking with an unquestionably independent political voice, backed by a unified labor movement. The time has passed when we can passively settle for the lesser of two evils…”

AFL-CIO Resolution 48: Exploring New Directions for Labor in Electoral Politics

“…the AFL-CIO also… studies the viability of independent and third-party politics; and explores other reasonable means of advancing the interests of labor in electoral politics…”

With support from labor unions, it is an auspicious time for the rise of a Third Party in America.


AFL-CIO Calls for a Break with “Lesser of Two Evils” Politics | People’s World

Commentary on AFL-CIO Political Independence Resolutions | The Jimmy Dore Show

AFL-CIO Youtube Channel with 2017 Conference Videos

AFL-CIO 2017 Convention Theme: War on Workers

Aware & Fair


About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • As a union advocate I consider this action to be ill advised. There are problems within the Democratic party for labor. There is absolutely no reason to place any faith in the Republican (right to work) Party. People need to understand unions provided the benefits needed for our parents to reach the middle class. We need to grow our membership and general support for organized labor. The force of numbers will bring the party to us and avoid the problems for labor of a third party effort. The Democratic Party still offers our best hope to advance our agenda.

    • You may well be right. But do you think it’s possible the “independence declaration” may encourage the Dem Party to offer better labor policies in order to win AFL-CIO support? I think labor is telling the Dems they need to work harder for labor interests.

      • I fully agree with that message. A major conflict point has to do with globalization and trade agreements. Democrats and Labor need to recognize the limits on each in this global world. Some aspects are beyond the ability of both to alter but not all. Second the corporate changes to the labor market are very damaging to workers. The so called Gig economy such as Uber type jobs and worse so many companies creating contract labor type jobs that are in fact company employees. These tactics let companies maximize profits by eliminating the need to pay any benefits to workers who are actually employees. Unions need to provide re-training for many workers similar to original worker apprenticeships. We also need to support candidates who will fund the enforcement section of the Dept. of Labor. Sorry for being so wordy but the current administration and congress are not going to help. We also need union members and supporters to vote in their own best interest and not vote for some candidate who may support some other issue with which they may agree.

  • well, well, well! looks like the labor unions finally woke up and smelled the coffee. our next objective — have them help sponsor a 3rd party candidate in 2020. you know, like Bernie Sanders, for instance….

  • In reality, we have two factions of the Demipublican party and a handful of people who care that hold their noses while calling themselves democrats. Every member of the GOP and most in the other subgroup are owned by corporations.

    • I am also independent. But I signed up with the Dems so I could vote for Sanders, and have continued my pseudo-affiliation in order to be ready for upcoming primaries.

      Of course, I’m out of luck if a great Republican comes along… but I’m not too worried. :-)

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