Eliminate Objectionable Language from AFL-CIO Constitution

WHEREAS in August 2000, the delegate body of the King County Labor Council (KCLC) in Seattle, Washington approved a major revision of the Council’s Constitution and By-Laws by adopting a series of amendments; and

WHEREAS during this process, the delegate body voted to exclude the following language that had been requested for inclusion by the National AFL-CIO: “No individual shall be eligible to serve as an officer, member of the executive board or committee or other governing body of, or any other committee of, or as a delegate from, or as a representative, agent or employee of any state central body who consistently pursues policies and activities directed toward the achievement of the program or purposes of authoritarianism, totalitarianism, terrorism and other forces that suppress individual liberties and freedom of association”; and

WHEREAS during the discussion preceding rejection of the above language by the KCLC delegate body, delegates criticized it for being vague, a relic of the McCarthy era, and for having the potential to be used in a discriminatory manner against delegates or employees of the Council; and

WHEREAS subsequent to the KCLC vote to delete the provision, a similar discussion was held at the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) Convention in August 2000 in Tacoma, Washington. The motion was to delete the requested language. The motion passed unanimously by a vote of over 600 delegates; and

WHEREAS after the KCLC submitted its revised constitution and by-laws to the National AFL-CIO for approval, AFL/CIO President John Sweeney wrote a letter to the Council which stated, in part, that the rejected language was mandatory and that it needed to be inserted into the Council’s constitution “…to bring your constitution into conformity with the provisions of the Rules Governing AFL-CIO Central Labor Councils and the Constitution of the AFL-CIO”;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Executive Board of Pride at Work work within the AFL/CIO to bring about the elimination of the above mentioned language from the AFL-CIO constitution (Article III, Sec. 7; Article V, Sec. 6; and Article X, Sec. 8).

Submitted by Out Front Labor/Pride at Work, Seattle, Washington Chapter
(Voted unanimously June 11, 2001)