The 13th biennial AFL-CIO convention opening here today is expected to be something of a love feast for outging President George Meany.
But, if a report to the convention by the federation's Executive Council is any indication, the meeting will mark continued cool relations between the 13.6-million-member labor group and the Carter administration.
The three-part report is critical of the administration's handling of the economy and energy matters. It also accuses the administration, through the federal Council on Wage and Price Stability of having "interfered in contract negotiations" between labor and management.
The alleged interference has led to more strikes by, and lower wages for, American workers, the council said.
In short, it said the administration's battle against inflation has been misdirected. "The administration program of wage controls . . . demanded that workers bear a greater burden in fighting inflation than any other group," the report said.
"The burden is unfair, inequitable and unbalanced, resulting in obstruction of collective bargaining and unnecessary strikes and lockouts.
"Wages have been attacked in the administration's war on inflation rather than the real causes of inflation," one of which, the report said, is lack of a national energy program. It called for "more decisive and bolder action" in this direction.
The council renewed the AFL-CIO's call for a government agency to determine the amount of oil to be imported negotiate its price and establish an equitable national allocation system.
"America is more vulnerable today and more dependent upon the importation of petroleum from insecure sources than it was" in the 1973-74 Arab oil embargo, the council said.
President Carter, who is to address the convention this afternoon, won some praise from Meany and the council for halting U.S. oil purchases from Iran, where more than 60 Americans are being held hostage in the U.S. Embassy.
"I know the president is in a tight spot in this one, and I'm certainly not going to criticize him for it," Meany told labor officials Monday.
Despite the Executive Council's report criticizing the administration's record on energy and the economy, officials of the Labor for Carter-Mondale Committee said yesterday that they detect a steady growth in labor support for the president.
Murray Finley, president of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union and leader of the Carter-Mondale group, said the president is gaining labor support "because there is a growing perception of what he has accomplished on behalf of labor."
The passage of a strong minimum wage bill and the administration's efforts to protect American textile workers from foreign competition are two of Carter's pluses on the labor front, Finley said.
He also said the Carter labor forces were heartened because there was "no surge of labor support" for Sen Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) when he declared his candidacy last week for the Democratic presidential nomination.
"We were surprised about that," Finley said.