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Inside Report (4)

The AFL-CIO is quietly promoting mergers among its member unions. Many of the 120 AFL-CIO unions, like employers for whom their rank-and-file work, are struggling under the effects of inflation. Staffs have been cut, operations reduced.

The federation sees a solution in mergers. A committee of vice-presidents has been named "to encourage voluntary consolidation and mergers" among affiliates.

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Some of the industries in which mergers are being sought: electrical manufacturing, oil, rubber, chemicals, papermaking, apparel, and shipping.

If merger talks among the United Automobile Workers, International Association of Machinists, and the United Rubber Workers succeed, the resulting combine could emerge as the strongest union in the AFL-CIO.m