April 5, 2001

N.Y. Labor Leaders Gather in Ives Hall

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With a touch of humor and political commentary, John Sweeney, president of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), addressed issues of union organizing and social justice yesterday in Ives Hall.

Sweeney served as the keynote speaker for the School of Industrial and Labor Relations’ Union Days 2001.

“The purpose of Union Days is to bring students in contact with labor leaders,” said ILR Dean Edward J. Lawler.

Sweeney acted as president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) before becoming head of the AFL-CIO, a federation of America’s unions, in 1995.

During his tenure as AFL-CIO president, Sweeney has devoted himself to aggressive organizing and expanding opportunities for young people.

Despite his efforts, he said that “when it comes to organizing, the AFL-CIO and its unions are