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The unions are trying to heal the wounds of the bitter division

Nearly four years later, a bad dislocation of the division of labor organized union leaders are back on the reunification of a federation unique and powerful, can this year.

12 Keeping the nation's largest unions with rival federation AFL-CIO and Change to Win, were held three meetings since January with a view to introducing their differences and the use of the weather more on the Union's policy in the age of 15.

"We have a very positive discussion, which we refer to some important," said David Bonior, former Michigan member of the discussions into negotiations.

Bonior, but emphasized that obstacles remain as head of the work as a United Work is structured and the goals.

Sept trade unions, the Service Employees International Union, screws AFL-CIO of the 2005th They complained to the association also focuses on the political campaigns and not enough on attracting new members. The fraction reflected the frustration of the fall of membership in a union, with no more than 35 percent of the workforce in 1950 to about 12 percent today.

But today the political landscape has been with the Democrats controlling the White House and Congress. The union officials have a window of opportunity for achieving the goals, including the adoption of a law that would be easier for the workers in a union to be.

"There are clear advantages in terms of efficiency, the delivery of news, financial savings and a number of other reasons," said Bonior. "They can still be more efficient if they just speak in a house instead of three."

Discussions were also 3.2 million members, National Education Association, the largest union in the country, not the association, but it could be a part of the new structure.

None of the executives have used the word publicly about the details, but the pace of negotiations accelerated. The question is on the agenda at the AFL-CIO, the annual meeting of the winter in Miami in the next week.

"We are still talking," Change to Win President Anna Burger journalists recently.

However, there are important issues to resolve, especially, which would give the new association, the organization, how it needs to be done and what is a coalition.

Some unions are concerned they never come back into the AFL-CIO to talk about the changes brought about by the name of the organization of work for more than 50 years.

The management is complicated, even with the president of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney total withdrawal this year. The Association of the Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka, is a likely successor. However, some unions, especially the driver, who opposed him.

Robert Reich, former secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, said the division of labor is not essential if the Republicans in Washington and not run unions an opportunity to reform the laws of work.

But with the Democrats, the unions that the strength in unity, "said Reich." The union movement split is much lower than those of the United States, especially when it comes to national politics and policy. "

Nowhere is more important for the unity of the unions in the efforts of the law of free choice of the employee at the Congress this year. The measure take away the right of employers to request a secret ballot by the workers before the elections are detected. Instead, the unions can deal with the majority of workers have a permit.

The unions consider that the adoption of the law to make a fresh start in the movement of workers, the union with a doubling of the class of workers discouraged from now on the organization of intimidation by the employer. Groups of cases against the law for months suspended, that workers effectively to vote by secret ballot, and subject to the staff of the Union of intimidation.

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