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Working America is an allied organization of the AFL-CIO which works to build alliances among non-union working people. Working America is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization which provides workers who are not union members input into the policies, goals, and legislative efforts of the AFL-CIO. It also recruits people to help with letter-writing campaigns, phone banks and other activities to promote causes important to the labor federation.
The organization was founded on September 1, 2003Labor Day. A pilot project had been conducted throughout the summer of 2003 in Cleveland, Ohiomarker, Cincinnati, Ohiomarker and Seattle, Washingtonmarker. The organization was launched nationally that fall.

The organization's executive director is Karen Nussbaum.

The organization enrolled more than 1 million members by the fall of 2005 and 2.5 million by the fall of 2008.

Working America undertook its first nationwide activities in the 2004 U.S. presidential election. It organized a widely-publicized bus tour of workers throughout the Midwest.

Working America was very active in the 2006 midterm congressional elections. More than 100,000 activists engaged in grass-roots political electioneering. These activists, along with other AFL-CIO and Change to Win Federation workers, were credited with helping the Democrats win majorities in the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. Working America activists were credited by the press and Democrats for helping to deliver federal and state victories in Ohiomarker and Pennsylvaniamarker.

In 2007, Working America began a campaign to build support for health care reform. The group established a page on its Web site on which consumers could post stories about how lack of health insurance or under-insurance led to significant financial, health or other problems. Working America promised to launch a campaign against the organization or corporation which received the most "horror stories." The effort built upon a previous campaign by Working America in mid-2006 in which the organization asked the public to submit stories about "bad bosses."

In 2009, Working America collaborated with the AFL-CIO on the Unemployment Lifeline, a site for unemployed workers including a zip-code searchable database of unemployment offices, food banks, credit counseling services and other resources.


  1. Boselovic, "Embattled AFL-CIO Works to Involve Non-Union Households," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 8, 2005.
  2. Moberg, "Labor's New Push," The Nation, August 29, 2008.
  3. Strope, "Labor Activists Promoting Agenda on Rust Belt Bus Ride," Associated Press, March 22, 2004.
  4. Von Bergen, "No Union? No Problem," Duluth News-Tribune, May 12, 2006.
  5. Dine,"Unions Get Up From Their Deathbed to Help Deliver Midterm Election," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 9, 2006.
  6. Greenhouse, "Labor Goes Door to Door To Rally Suburban Voters," New York Times, October 8, 2006.
  7. Sostek, "AFL-CIO: Knock, Knock, Knocking on Voters' Doors," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 19, 2006.
  8. Sostek, "Unions Take Closer Look at Health-Care Stories," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 22, 2007; Lopes, "Union Fights Health-Horrors," Washington Times, March 23, 2007.
  9. Nussbaum, "Working America Throws Nation's Unemployed a Much-Needed Lifeline," Huffington Post, April 9, 2009.


  • Boselovic, Len. "Embattled AFL-CIO Works to Involve Non-Union Households." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. September 8, 2005.
  • Dine, Philip. "Unions Get Up From Their Deathbed to Help Deliver Midterm Election." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. November 9, 2006.
  • "The Director of 'Working America' Defends Its Effectiveness in Response to Critics." Labor Educator. June 1, 2005.
  • Grant, Alison. "AFL-CIO Eyes Nonunion Effort." Seattle Times. September 1, 2003.
  • Greenhouse, Steven. "Labor Federation Looks Beyond Unions for Supporters." New York Times. July 11, 2004.
  • Greenhouse, Steven. "Labor Goes Door to Door To Rally Suburban Voters." New York Times. October 8, 2006.
  • Holland, Jesse J. "AFL-CIO: Unions Will Impact 2008 Race." Associated Press. August 6, 2007.
  • Lopes, Gregory. "Union Fights Health Horrors." Washington Times. March 23, 2007.
  • Sostek, Anya. "AFL-CIO: Knock, Knock, Knocking on Voters' Doors." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 19, 2006.
  • Moberg, David. "Labor's New Push." The Nation, August 29, 2008.
  • Nussbaum, Karen. "Working America Throws Nation's Unemployed a Much-Needed Lifeline," Huffington Post, April 9, 2009.
  • Sostek, Anya. "Unions Take Closer Look at Health-Care Stories." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 22, 2007.
  • Strope, Leigh. "Labor Activists Promoting Agenda on Rust Belt Bus Ride." Associated Press. March 22, 2004.
  • Taylor, T. Shawn. "Unions Taking a New Tack to Widen Support." Chicago Tribune. September 3, 2003.
  • Von Bergen, Jane. "No Union? No Problem." Duluth News-Tribune. May 12, 2006.
  • Webster, Sarah. "New Union to Focus on Political Agenda; 'Working America' Likened to AARP." Bergen Record. September 3, 2003.

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