Liberal reinforcement in US labor
Douglas A. Fraser, president of the United Automobile Workers, is bringing his strong liberal voice to the AFL-CIO's policymaking executive council in its midsummer meeting here, Monitor labor correspondent Ed Townsend reports. Ending a 13-year separation, Mr. Fraser led his union back into the AFL-CIO a month ago and was to be seated officially in the council today (Aug. 3) as a vice-president -- joining the federation in denunciation of President Reagan's budget and tax programs.
Organized labor fought both programs on Capitol Hill and lost. Even before reaffiliation, the UAW and Fraser worked with the AFL-CIO in efforts to stem the conservative political tide in Congress. Now the AFL- CIO, reinforced by the 1. 3 million-member UAW, opposes Mr. Reagan's "survival of the fittest" trade policies as a threat to US jobs. The President contends that the future of US enterprises -- even those that face import competition -- should be determined by world "market forces."
After the three-day council meeting, presidents of the AFL-CIO's 102 unions will meet in preparation for a "Solidarity Day" protest in Washington Sept. 19 -- labor's demonstration against the government's turn to the right, expected to bring together tens of thousands o f trade unionists and civil rights representatives.