Unhappy labor chiefs look for ways to outflank Reagan policies
Growing dissatisfaction with the Reagan administration will be at the top of the agenda when the powerful 35-member executive council of the AFL-CIO meets in Baltimore May 7-8.
Says Lane Kirkland, president of the giant labor federation: "The problem we face is clear. . . . The political friends of labor and its allies are out of power, and our opponents are in."
When Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency, the federation promised limited cooperation while the new administration tackled the serious problems facing the nation. Since then, labor's criticisms have been sharpening. According to Mr. Kirkland, the federation sees "a plain duty to do our best to head off the disasters we see in the making.
The AFL-CIO now accuses the Reagan administration of "abusing the congressional budget process to force a rewriting of the nation's laws" to reverse the social progress won by legislative and economic action over the last 50 years.
But the problem for the council is one of mobilizing labor backing against a Reagan economic recovery program that polls indicat e is supported by about half of the country's trade unionists.