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AFL-CIO president worries about future
Report: The decline in organized labor spells financial trouble for AFL-CIO and possible lay-offs.
April 29, 2005: 11:28 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney said in a teleconference with reporters Thursday that the organization is facing financial troubles and may have to lay off 25 percent of its workforce, according to the Washington Post.

"We must increase the size of our membership and restore union density -- especially in key industries -- or no other strategies to strengthen our movement will work," the federation said in a report.

Union membership has fallen to 12.5 percent of the workforce from 33 percent since the AFL-CIO was created nearly 50 years ago, according to the paper.

AFL-CIO financial reports available on the Labor Department Web site show that from the start of 2000 to June 30, 2004, the AFL-CIO's net assets fell from $66.1 million to $29.1 million.

"We are looking at every department and every program of the AFL-CIO," Sweeney said. He plans to meet with unions representing AFL-CIO staff members to discuss layoffs, according to the paper.

"I really can't be too specific about reorganization plans," he said.

"The bottom line is I will not give you any more information."

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John J. Sweeney
Union Memberships
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