Change to Win

* Created as a result of a leadership crisis in the AFL-CIO
* Was founded by progressive activist Andrew Stern of the SEIU
* Led by Anna Burger, powerful union leader and vice-Chair of Democracy Alliance
* Funds Democratic candidates and lawmakers
* Supports single-payer health care, the Employee Free Choice Act, and amnesty for illegal aliens

Former New Leftist Andrew Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), founded Change to Win (CTW) as a union federation in 2005. Stern was prompted to form the new group as a result of infighting with John Sweeney over the leadership of the AFL-CIO. At its founding, CTW had more than 6 million members and was composed of seven unions. By 2010, it had 5.5 million members and five unions: the SEIU, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, the United Farm Workers of America, and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

CTW claims to protect the “American dream for America’s workers,” a dream that is “under threat today as never before in our lifetimes.” According to its constitution, CTW seeks to “hold global corporations and elected public officials accountable to working people.” In its mission statement, CTW outlines four principal goals that labor can achieve for its members:

A paycheck that supports a family

Universal health care

A secure retirement

The freedom to form a union to give workers a voice on the job

The power of CTW intersects with a host of other leftist organizations. Anna Burger, the first and current Chair of CTW, best exemplifies the network between big labor and progressive advocacy. She is the International Secretary-Treasurer of the SEIU and the Vice Chair of the George Soros and Peter Lewis-funded Democracy Alliance. With the financial power of CTW and several institutions at her disposal, Burger has been able to direct tens of millions of dollars toward Democratic candidates and radical organizations like ACORN. Since 2000, the SEIU, one of the five member unions of CTW, spent “at least $187,500,000 through combined lobbying, PAC and 527s group donations, and expenses on candidates and policy issues – nearly 100% of which went to Democrats and to liberal policy initiatives.”

Supporting single-payer health care, CTW participated in the Soros-funded Health Care for America Now! campaign, raised funds for progressive reform, and celebrated the March 21, 2010 passage of the Health Care Bill in the House as a historic victory. CTW is also a leading advocate of the Employee Free Choice Act and waged a national campaign to ensure that President Barack Obama would pass the bill after his election in 2008. Since “workplace elections are not free or fair,” CTW claims, workers need to be protected from corporations.

In 2009, CTW collaborated with the AFL-CIO to draft a five-point proposal on immigration reform, designed to defend U. S. workers, “reduce the exploitation of immigrant workers,” and “reduce the employers’ incentive to hire undocumented workers rather than American workers.” While the CTW maintains that it does not seek amnesty, a principal element of its advocacy is family reunification, which would allow tens of millions of additional aliens into the nation. CTW is also fiercely anti-free trade. “Much of the emigration from Mexico in recent years,” it claims, “resulted from the disruption caused by NAFTA, which displaced millions of Mexicans from subsistence agriculture and enterprises that could not compete in a global market.” On March 21, 2010, CTW participated in the pro-amnesty March for America. Advocating immigration reform and “economic justice,” CTW was joined by a host of progressive organizations like the AFL-CIO, the SEIU, the Center for American Progress, the National Council of La Raza, Progressive Democrats of America, and many others.


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