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Letter from Los Angeles

LA has become the centre of a trade union revival

By Jo-Ann Mort   April 2000

If Al Gore becomes the next US president, the moment when it became possible will be traced back to the biennial convention of the AFL-CIO, America’s main trade union body, in Los Angeles in mid-October last year. AFL-CIO head John Sweeney took the risk of pushing through an early endorsement for Al Gore, then facing a strong challenge from Bill Bradley. Gore’s floundering campaign was jump-started by the endorsement.

On the face of it this is curious-a presidential candidate in a nation where union penetration is below 15 per cent and whose CEOs invented union bashing and the flexible workplace,…

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