Former AFL-CIO president to speak at Cornell on labor woes Sept. 29

Thomas R. Donahue, former president of the AFL-CIO, will speak on "Problems of Labor in Contemporary Society" Monday, Sept. 29, at noon in Room 105 of the ILR Conference Center at Cornell University. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Donahue will visit Cornell Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 as the 1997 Alice B. Grant Labor Leader in Residence. During his visit, he will speak to various classes in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR).

Donahue served as secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, the union's second most powerful position, from 1979 until 1995, when he was elected president to fill an unexpired term.

As chairman of the AFL-CIO Committee on Evolution of Work, he produced three key reports: The Future of Work (1983), The Changing Situation of Workers and Their Unions (1985) and A Labor Perspective on the New American Workplace--A Call for Partnership (1994). He also served as executive assistant for former AFL-CIO President George Meany. The AFL-CIO is a federation of labor unions created in 1955 by the merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

Donahue has served on numerous national committees and organizations, including as chairman of the U.S. Special Trade Representative's Labor Advisor Committee from 1989 to 1995, as a member of the President's Council on Sustainable Development and as co-chair, with the late U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, of the Task Force on Sustainable Communities.

Donahue now serves as co-chairman of the Foundation for Prevention and Early Resolution of Conflict (PERC), a private foundation fostering the use of third-party intervention in labor-management, business, community, environment and civil rights disputes. PERC supports, in part, the Institute for Conflict Resolution at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

The Alice B. Grant Labor Leader-in-Residence program, named for the former director of the ILR extension office in Rochester, brings to campus annually a major figure in the labor world. Past labor leaders in residence have included Lenore Miller, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (1996), and John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO (1992).

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