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UE devotes more of its resources to organizing, on a per capita basis, than most other national unions. UE's creative approaches to organizing — like the Workers' Rights Board established originally in Vermont — have become a model for the entire labor movement. UE's stubborn, relentless, militant rank-and-file approach have won union rights and union contracts in the face of opposition by lawbreaking corporations.
With its unaffiliated status, UE is viewed as the "national center for independent unionism."
UE works to give working people a political alternative by building the Labor Party. Consistent with the union's criticism of the AFL-CIO's close relationship with the Democratic Party and advocacy of labor's independent political action, UE was a founding members of the Labor Party in June 1996 and continues to be a prominent supporter.
UE works to give new meaning to international solidarity through its "Strategic Organizing Alliance" with Mexico's independent Authentic Labor Front (FAT). The first-of-its-kind cross-border approach to organizing developed out of the two organizations' opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). UE understands that building international solidarity, including practical steps to improve living standards and working conditions across borders, represents the best long-term defense of members' jobs.