LABOR: A Rapid Decline in Political Clout

Only weeks ago, crusty George Meany crowed at the AFL-CIO executive council in Bal Harbour, Fla., that "the climate is good" for labor. The boast made sense: labor had spent $8.2 million to help elect a heavily Democratic Congress, and union votes had given Jimmy Carter a big lift toward the White House. Meany and his aides set down a list of ambitious legislative goals, then waited for the pro-labor Government to do its stuff (TIME, March 7).

But labor's quid failed to produce the anticipated quo. The House, in a stunning rebuff to the unions, last month rejected the...

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