Third Way, SEIU To Team-Up On Southern Effort
Washington — Third Way and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced today that the union would join the Third Way New South Project as a founding member of the project’s Board of Trustees and provide significant financial support for the project.
Third Way President Jonathan Cowan describes the New South Project as “a unique effort to address the growing alienation of mainstream southerners from progressive ideas, leaders and groups.” He said of SEIU’s commitment to the project: “It is an honor to partner with the nation’s largest and fastest-growing labor union. SEIU has shown real leadership in the struggle to build progressive institutions, even in places where conservative ideas now dominate. Their organizing expertise, innovative thinking and financial support will be crucial to how we craft, launch and undertake the New South Project.”
SEIU leaders agreed that the partnership will help build progressive institutions in a region in which they are currently lacking. “Most states in the South have no collective bargaining laws, and ‘right to work for less’ laws designed to divide workers’ strength. These conditions hurt workers coast-to-coast, by dragging down pay and benefit standards across industries,” said Tom Woodruff, Executive Vice President of SEIU. “That’s why SEIU has teamed up with the New South Project to educate workers in places like Louisiana and Georgia about how to unite their strength with workers in places like California and New York and to explore ways the region can build economic and political partnerships that truly reward and value work.”
The Third Way New South Project is the only one of its kind that is led by incumbent statewide officeholders. It is chaired by Senators Mary Landrieu (LA) and Mark Pryor (AR), along with Governor Mark Warner (VA) and Attorney General Thurbert Baker (GA). Speaking for the co-chairs, Senator Landrieu said: “I am delighted that SEIU has joined the New South Project. Their support, input and huge vote of confidence are critical to the successful launch of this vital and timely effort.”
Cowan added: “SEIU will play a crucial role in helping this project provide southern progressives with practical new tools to help them both stake out their positive vision for the people of the region and battle more effectively against the right-wing to win the war of ideas in the South.”
Contact: Matt Bennett (202) 775-3768 x212