John Sweeney was elected president of the AFL-CIO in October 1995 after more than 35 years of service in the labor movement. Previously he led the Service Employees International Union, which during a period when the labor movement was in steep decline, grew from 625,000 to 1.1 million members. He was also vice president of the AFL-CIO and chair of the Executive Council committees on health care and organizing and field services. Known for his championing of the poorest and least powerful segments of the work force, Sweeney has also served on the National Committee on Employment Policy and in the International Labor Organization. He is the co-author of Solutions for a New Work Force and the author of the recent book America Needs a Raise : Fighting for Economic Security and Social Justice (1996).
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