John J. Sweeney

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John J. Sweeney is president of the AFL-CIO and a trustee of the Solidarity Center. He is also on the international advisory board for the Pew Global Attitudes Project.

"John J. Sweeney was elected to a fourth term as president of the AFL-CIO at the federation’s constitutional convention in July 2005. He was first elected president in 1995 on a platform of revitalizing the federation, which has 52 affiliated unions and 9 million members, as well as 1 million members in Working America, its new community affiliate. The 1995 election was the first contested election in AFL-CIO history." [1]

"In 1996 he authored America Needs A Raise, Fighting for Economic Security and Social Justice, published by Houghton-Mifflin. He co-authored Solutions for the New Work Force in 1989 and co-edited the UNA-USA Economic Policy Council's Family and Work: Bridging the Gap in 1987." [2]

Review of his book, America Needs a Raise

" the head of a new, media-savvy AFL-CIO, Sweeney received rave reviews from leading figures in politics, feminism, the civil rights movement, and academia. The author of America Needs a Raise was hailed as a "visionary leader" (Cornell West) who, "with the audacity and diligence of FDR during the Hundred Days, has transformed American labor" (Daniel Patrick Moynihan). After Sweeney's election, progressives looked to "a newly militant labor movement for a larger vision of American business than the next quarter's stock market index" (Betty Friedan) and "a compelling strategy for how working Americans can restore not only their living standards, but also the traditional American values of work, family, and community" (Marian Wright Edelman). Said Julian Bond: "Anyone concerned with economic democracy and social justice must read America Needs a Raise."
"Reading Sweeney's book jacket copy ten years later, it's hard to recognize, in such descriptions, the self- effacing septuagenarian still hanging on to the AFL-CIO presidency long past his promised retirement age. Nearly 73 and quite pass, Sweeney looks more like an old Irish-Catholic priest than a "labor militant" or "visionary." He is, in fact, presiding--with greatly reduced visibility (but still very high pay)--over a much-diminished flock. Five million of his former parishioners belong to another congregation." [3]

Resources and articles


  1. Founders and Advisors, Campaign for America's Future, accessed August 4, 2007.
  2. Trustees, National Policy Association (Catched Page 2002), accessed March 3, 2008.
  3. About, World Justice Project, accessed April 27, 2008.

External links