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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Thursday, March 29, 2007 ::

    AFL-CIO Launches Campaign to Train 500,000 Stewards as Union Organizers - LaborTalk By Harry Kelber
    “Labor is building a stewards’ army across unions,” Cohen told reporters. Unions will be training their stewards to emphasize politics, not just contract administration, he said. The goal is to retrain 500,000 stewards nationwide, including 50,000 in CWA, with unions spending millions of dollars in support of the effort.

    To emphasize the need for aggressive organizing campaigns, Cohen noted that “there is no other democracy in the world where the percentage of private sector workers who are organized is not at least twice as high as the current U.S. figure of 7.4 percent.”

    In seeking to counter the public image of labor as weak and defensive, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said that unions are conducting and winning more large-scale organizing campaigns among groups of 500 or more workers than ever before, citing the nearly 140,000 workers in health care, mining, university and telecommunications who were brought into unions in the last 18 months.
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