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From: Harry Kelber harrykelber6@alabonneheur.com
To: John Sweeney Jsweeney@aflcio.org
Date: Thu, 08 Feb 2007
Re: AFL-CIO Trusteeship on Colorado AFL-CIO

Brother Sweeney: I understand from a BNA report that the AFL-CIO has imposed a trusteeship on the Colorado AFL-CIO. The reason for this unusual action was "tension" and "internal divisions" which your spokeswoman, Esmeralda Aguilar, said, but would not offer any details.

The BNA story quotes you as saying that the Colorado state affiliate "has made great strides in advancing workers' rights in that state." It says that the two top officials of the federation will keep their titles and remain in office. No officers have been removed and all staff have been ordered to continue their work. And Ms. Aguilar also adds that, while the state fed's financial records will be audited, "monetary issues were not the cause of the decision to place the Colorado federation in trusteeship."

The "internal division" was the chief reason for the trusteeship and concerned individuals who "were not able to agree on direction," Aguilar told BNA. "The divisions were creating tensions among the Colorado movements and affiliates."

Sweeney has appointed Rick Bender, president of the Washington State Labor Council, to assume administrative oversight of operations for the state federation, and Keith Maddox of the AFL-CIO's Unity Partnership program, as his acting deputy.

Brother Sweeney, what were the "internal divisions" that prompted you to take the extraordinary step of lifting the charter of the Colorado state fed? Who are the individuals and what were they doing to create such tensions hat would cause you to interfere in the Colorado state fed's affairs? And were you acting alone or with the approval of the AFL-CIO Executive Committee?

I think that you, as the initiator of the trusteeship, have an obligation to tell us specifically, and frankly, why you took this action. I am alerting a number of interested union officials and activists to expect your response.

Harry Kelber

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