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Labor group could face major split

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis – The AFL-CIO holds its national convention in Chicago this weekend - but the organization might end its meeting with far fewer members than it starts with.

Five national labor groups representing more than five million workers are threatening to break away over differences of reform.

They say the AFL-CIO is doing little to grow its political focus and take on anti-worker policies. But Illinois AFL-CIO president Margaret Blackshere says those groups could take a lesson from her state chapter.

"I hope they take the message of Illinois that working together is a successful operation, she said. "We are able to have a whole lot of good legislation, and we've grown. Doing it that way works. Let's all do it that way and maybe it'll work."

The AFL-CIO represents a million workers in Illinois, and about 365,000 in Missouri.

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