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AFL-CIO primed for Obama speech

U.S. President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn of the White House toward the Oval Office in Washington on September 12, 2009. President Obama traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota to speak at a rally on health insurance reform. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn
U.S. President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn of the White House toward the Oval Office in Washington on September 12, 2009. President Obama traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota to speak at a rally on health insurance reform. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn | License Photo

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama's speech Tuesday at the AFL-CIO convention comes amid a revival of labor optimism and spirit of empowerment, union officials say.

A grass-roots push of AFL-CIO members representing every congressional district during Obama's 2008 presidential campaign helped him win the election, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

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"We recognize that working people are at the edge of a huge wave of change," said John J. Sweeney, AFL-CIO president. "We're ready to mobilize as never before to create an economy that works for everybody.

The convention will bring together 1,000 union delegates, 2,000 guests and 250 visitors from unions throughout the world.

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, also are to speak at the weeklong convention.

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