UE Opposes 'Cooperation'
Structure Between AFL-CIO
And Big Business
UE Genl. Pres. John Hovis and GE Conference Board Sec. Stephen Tormey have
sent a letter to UE locals in the General Electric chain opposing plans to establish a new
structure of collaboration between the AFL-CIO and major corporations, including GE.
As reported in the October issue of the Labor Notes newsletter,
AFL-CIO Pres. John Sweeney has been quietly discussing with GE Chairman Jack Welch the
founding of a national "Economic Leadership Dialogue on Citizenship" between
corporate executives and union officials. Sweeney and Welch are to be the co-chairs.
A spokesperson for the AFL-CIO confirmed the report, telling Labor
Notes that the meetings are to be "private conversations." Nancy Mills of
the AFL-CIO Corporate Affairs Dept. added that it is "unfortunate" that word got
out about the proposed dialogue.
The unions Oct. 2 letter points out that no one in the AFL-CIO
informed or consulted anyone in UE concerning the matter. "We are sure that the same
holds true for GE local union leaders regardless of union affiliation," said Hovis
The UE leaders say the union opposes "wasting time in a fruitless
search for common purpose with Jack Welch, one of the worlds leaders in
both job elimination and anti-unionism."