Change To Win holds inaugural convention
BLET delegates in attendance as new labor group elects officers, sets ground rules
(The following is a statement by BLET President Don M. Hahs on the founding convention of the Change to Win Coalition on September 27 in St. Louis, Mo.)
The BLET has embarked on an historic course with our partners, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to participate in Change to Win's revolutionary founding convention.
Change to Win is a progressive and activist organization made up of seven labor organizations and six million workers. Its first leader is Anna Burger, the General Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union.
Joining me at this momentous convention as delegates from the BLET were: First Vice President Edward Rodzwicz; National Secretary-Treasurer William Walpert; Vice President & National Legislative Representative Raymond Holmes; and BLET Chief of Staff and Legislative/Political Director John Tolman. Also attending were Union Pacific-Central Region General Chairman C.R. Rightnowar; Illinois State Legislative Board Chairman C.E. Way; BLET Human Rights Omnibudsman and Local Chairman of BLET Division 439 (Allston, Mass.) Bill Munger; and Union Pacific-Central Region Vice General Chairman Wes Taylor.
Change to Win is dedicated to organizing workers and has a vision of growth and strength in the labor movement. Through this coalition, we want to change the way labor unions operate by putting more money into organizing and by working together towards a common cause. The Coalition is built on a platform of restoring the American dream.
As Teamsters General President Hoffa said, "We will stand together. We will fight together." This is what Change to Win is all about.
The organization is reaching out to those most in need of help - workers on the Gulf Coast - by training workers to rebuild their communities. We need to help these workers start over by rebuilding their lives.
Change To Win will stand up for all workers. We will give workers a chance to win a voice on the job. We will build the American labor movement-together, brick by brick.
I look forward to working with Change to Win to expand our organization and to fight for the rights of all workers.
For more information about the Change to Win Coalition go to: http://www.changetowin.org .
© 2005 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen