AFL-CIO approves diversity plan

July 26, 2005 at 2:47 PM

CHICAGO, July 26 (UPI) -- A day after two of its largest member unions quit, the AFL-CIO Tuesday unveiled plans to increase diversity within leadership of the organized labor movement.

"We will not allow women, people of color, gay or lesbian workers or brothers and sisters with disabilities to be denied the fruits of their labor in the workplace," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney in a statement.

Sweeney is expected to be overwhelmingly re-elected president of the nation's largest labor umbrella organization despite Monday's withdrawal of the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union, who together represent more than 3 million U.S. workers.

"The leadership of the union movement needs to accurately reflect the diversity of our membership and communities," said Sweeney.

Separately, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust announced a $750 million community investment plan for Chicago funded by union pension funds. The initiative is similar to union investments to build affordable housing in New York City.

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