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Talk about the need for diplomats! Organized labor's displeasure with the White House is well known . . . as is the icy relationship between the AFL-CIO and Reagan's top man for labor affairs, Ray Donovan. So which administration official was invited to meet with the AFL-CIO's executive council in Bal Harbour, Fla., recently? US Secretary of State George P. Shultz. The federation's president, Lane Kirkland, even used the appropriate diplomatic jargon when he called the talks ''an exceedingly useful exchange.'' Discussions ranged from world trouble spots to international trade matters. Shultz has met twice before with the council - while serving as labor secretary under President Nixon.
A number of council members describe Shultz as ''the best friend we have in the administration.''m