After 6 Years Leading AFL-CIO, John Sweeney Has Achieved Mixed Results
Interview by Between The Lines' Scott Harris.
While most nations across the globe honor workers on May 1, the U.S. stands virtually alone in celebrating Labor Day on the first Monday of September. This is particularly ironic given that the May Day holiday originated out of the struggle for an 8-hour day in the U.S., where police attacked labor activists at Chicago's Haymarket Square during the first week of May, 1886.
For several decades, the number of union members in the U.S. has been falling. Where organized labor once represented more than 30 percent of the work force in the 1960s, it now represents only 13.5 percent of all workers. The decline in numbers continues despite the installation of new leadership at the AFL-CIO six years ago. John Sweeney, who was elected president of the labor federation in 1995, promised to reverse labor's decline. While Sweeney and his team have had mixed results in recruiting new members, they have been successful in changing labor's tarnished image.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with David Moberg, a senior editor at In These Times, who assesses John Sweeney's leadership and the institutional barriers hindering union organizing in the U.S(A RealAudio Version of this interview may be found At http://www.btlonline.org) .
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