Representing 3.2 million workers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have left the ranks of the AFL-CIO labor group, citing a membership decline and disagreement over organized labor's future.
With this decision, the AFL-CIO lost nearly one-fourth of its members and is expected to see its influence over the Democratic Party dwindle.
At the AFL-CIO convention in Chicago IL, Teamsters President James P Hoffa said in a prepared statement, “In our view, we must have more union members in order to change the political climate that is undermining workers' rights in this country. The AFL-CIO has chosen the opposite approach.”
The Teamsters and the SEIU, which has 1.8 million members and was once headed by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, are establishing a competing labor coalition.
The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents more than 1 million supermarket employees, was contemplating joining the two unions in exiting the AFL-CIO.