AFL-CIO's snub of Ronald Reagan shows relations between big labor and the President are fast turning from chilly to frigid. The failure of the federation to invite Reagan and Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan to address its New York convention Nov. 16 underscores the almost total lack of communication between union leaders and the White House. In the past, invitations to the President and labor secretary have been extended regardless of policy differences. President Nixon, for example, spoke at an AFL-CIO convention and was courteously received at a time when organized labor was feuding with him.
The cold-shoulder treatment could also reflect something else: AFL-CIO concern over the support Reagan continues to have among labor's rank and file. An invitation might have appeared to condone this support at a time when federation leaders are trying to woo members away from the Reagan camp.