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AFL-CIO Convention and Funding Controversy

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The AFL-CIO has been holding its annual convention in Pittsburgh this week. Among the major issues facing the delegates — fast-track trade agreements and charges of campaign finance abuses now rocking the AFL-CIO leadership.

President Clinton addressed the conventions. To the cries of “No Free Trade,” he urged the AFL-CIO not to punish Congressional Democrats who vote to give him more freedom to negotiate trade deals — so-called fast-track authority.

But hanging over this week’s meeting has been the on-going labor campaign-finance scandals involving aides to Teamsters president Ron Carey. Last week, Martin Davis, a Washington political consultant, Michael Ansara, a Boston telemarketing businessman, and Jere Nash, a Mississippi political consultant who headed Ron Carey’s re-election campaign for Teamsters president last year, all pleaded guilty to fraud charges. Federal prosecutors said they were involved in a broad fund-raising conspiracy involving senior officials of the labor movement and the Democratic Party.

Guest:

  • Elain Bernard, a labor activist, educator and a founding member of the both the New Party and Labor Party. Presently, she is the executive director of the trade union program at Harvard University, the oldest labor leadership program in the United States.

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