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Mine Workers rejoins AFl-CIO.

Mine Workers rejoins AFL-CIO

Labor unions' efforts to attain a unified front in dealing with management and government were enhanced when the 150,000-member United Mine Workers returned to the AFL-CIO, ending a half century of self-imposed exile. The reaffiliation culminated increasingly close cooperation between the federation and the Mine Workers in recent years, most notably the AFL-CIO's aid in the union's efforts to reach a settlement with the Pittston Co. and end the bitter work stoppage against the soft coal producer.

Mine Workers President Richard L. Trumka called the reaffiliation a formalization of "our ever-closer working relationship with the AFL-CIO and its member unions" and said that the move was "in the best interests of our membership."

The reaffiliation triggered a resumption of the Mine Workers and the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers negotiations to strengthen their bargaining front with energy producers by merging. In 1988, the Mine Workers had approved a merger plan, but the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers rejected it; reportedly, one reason was because the Mine Workers was not then an AFL-CIO member.

The reaffiliation also was a step in fulfilling AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland's vow to unify labor. Other unions brought into the federation since his inauguration in 1979 include the Auto Workers, the United Transportation Union, the Locomotive Engineers, the Teamsters, and the Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union. Labor organizations still outside the AFL-CIO include the United Electrical Workers, the National Education Association, and the American Nurses Association.
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Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Dec 1, 1989
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