Fighting anti-globalization image, AFL-CIO endorses DT purchase

WASHINGTON, DC: AFL-CIO has moved a to reverse its anti-globalization image by endorsing the proposed purchase of VoiceStream by Germany's Deutsche Telekom (DT).

WASHINGTON, DC: AFL-CIO has moved a to reverse its anti-globalization image by endorsing the proposed purchase of VoiceStream by Germany's Deutsche Telekom (DT).

WASHINGTON, DC: AFL-CIO has moved a to reverse its anti-globalization image by endorsing the proposed purchase of VoiceStream by Germany's Deutsche Telekom (DT).

In a joint press conference with the US Chamber of Commerce last week, the labor federation urged the government to drop legislation that would make it impossible for foreign corporations that are more than 25% government-owned from buying into US telecom companies. DT is 58% owned by the German government.

In a statement, AFL-CIO president John Sweeney said that DT 'enjoys a very positive relationship with its workers and their union, in stark contrast to major US (companies) like AT&T, Worldcom and Sprint.'

The announcement was surprising from an organization that has long had a protectionist image. Only recently it unsuccessfully opposed lifting the cap on H-1B visas, allowing foreign workers to staff tech companies (PRWeek, October 9).

Peggy Taylor, AFL-CIO's legislative director, argued that its support for DT will demonstrate the organization's flexibility on international issues. 'It does exemplify that we are not the rigid protectionists that some people would like to typecast us as,' she said. 'We are more sophisticated and knowledgeable about international financial dealings and financial institutions than is the common perception.'

AFL-CIO also flew in the face of expectations last February when it endorsed an amnesty for illegal immigrants and an end to sanctions against employers who hire them.



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