Although the campaign for the AFL-CIO’s presidency — if there will be a campaign — has not officially begun, the Ohio federation is the first in the country to back Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka to succeed retiring President John Sweeney. Sweeney has said he is backing Trumka for the post.

The final vote will take place at the AFL-CIO Convention in Pittsburgh, Sept. 13 – 14.

The AFL-CIO continues to be involved in unity talks with the Change to Win federation. The independent National Education Association is also involved in the talks. Indications are that a final agreement on unity will not be hammered out until after the AFL-CIO elects its new president.

David Bonior, president of American Rights at Work, is leading the unity talks. He told the World that “there most likely will not be a definitive agreement in time for the convention because it takes time to get proposals around to the unions that are not involved in the talks.”

Bonior said the most recent session on labor unity that he has hosted took place in the first week of June.

The Ohio state AFL-CIO, representing 700,000 members, unanimously backed Trumka at its May 29 executive board meeting, according to its president, Joe Rugola.

“Those of us who know Rich,” Rugola said in a statement afterwards, “believe he is the clear choice to lead the American labor movement through these most difficult times. Rich is the most articulate and passionate voice for the middle class and working families in the country today.”

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