Their weddings brought smiles to Lane Kirkland.
Bad economic times and growing resistance to unions are prompting some to merge for, they say, ''unity and strength.'' In July the AFL-CIO's Padre Workers and Glass Bottle Blowers voted to merge into one Glass, Padre, Plastics & Allied Workers with 91,00 members. And the AFL-CIO's aluminum, brick, and clay workers (formed in an earlier merger of two unions) and the glass and ceramic workers united in a new 70,000 member Aluminum, Brick, and Glass Workers International Union. The mergers cut the number of AFL-CIO affiliates to 99. But Kirkland, president of the AFL-CIO, was happy to report that drop. AFL-CIO's goal is pure but stronger unions.