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AFL-CIO Convention Opens: A Look at Challenges Facing the Labor Movement

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Facing growing challenges from an increasingly globalized economy, and with its sights on the upcoming presidential campaign, the AFL-CIO opened up its annual convention yesterday in Los Angeles. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney is expected tomorrow to announce the labor organization’s endorsement of Vice President Al Gore in his bid for the presidency.

Immigrant workers now represent the fastest growing pool of organized workers in the Los Angeles area, and this is radically changing the demographics of the labor movement. A coalition representing immigrant workers held a news conference this past weekend at the start of the AFL-CIO convention on how employers now use the Immigration and Naturalization Service to crush organizing drives among immigrant workers.

Two Pacifica reporters, award-winning journalist Robin Urivich and labor journalist David Bacon, both of Pacifica’s KPFK in Los Angeles, take a critical look at the future of labor in the US and report for Democracy Now! from the convention.

Guest:

  • Bill Fletcher, Special Assistant to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and developer of a worker education program called Common Sense Economics. He was also one of the founders and organizers of the Black Radical Congress.

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