AFL-CIO wraps up tumultuous convention

July 28, 2005 at 6:03 PM
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CHICAGO, July 28 (UPI) -- The nation's largest organized labor group is wrapping up its 50th convention with the same president but without two major labor unions.

Delegates re-elected AFL-CIO President John Sweeney without opposition Wednesday and passed several resolutions, including one calling for an all-out effort to organize unions at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the nation's largest employer.

"Despite the conflicts and even the divisions we've suffered, I think we all feel a new sense of clarity about our mission and new energy propelling us toward our goals," said the 71-year-old Sweeney, who did not face any opponents in seeking a fourth term.

The withdrawal of the 1.4-million-member Teamsters and the 1.8-million-member Service Employees International Union from the federation leaves an $18 million hole in the AFL-CIO's annual budget, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Unite Here, which represents hotel and textile workers, and the Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents grocery workers, are deciding whether to also leave the AFL-CIO.

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