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Kennedy Speaks at AFL-CIO Convention

Dec. 7, 1961 - President Kennedy asked organized labor today to back his proposals to liberalize foreign trade. He said that his program would mean a “viable economy and full employment.” Four thousand persons, who jammed into the auditorium of the Americana Hotel in Bal Harbour, Fla., for the opening of the convention of the AFL-CIO, greeted his appeal with warm applause. Their response was even heartier when the President told them that he planned to seek from the next session of Congress “stand-by authority to make grants in aid to communities for needed public works when our economy begins to bog down.” The President’s speech drew a promise of unqualified support from George Meany, president of the 12,500,000-member federation. “Don’t worry about us,” Mr. Meany told the smiling President. “We will cooperate 1,000 percent.”


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