AFL-CIO leaders pushed aside suggestions that they may be guilty of verbal overkill and today launched yet another attack on Reagan administration policies, including "New Federalism" and U.S. policies toward Poland.
The attack on U.S. policy in Poland came one day before Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. is expected to meet with the federation's 35-member executive council.
The council said in a resolution today that the failure of the United States and other western governments to impose stiff economic sanctions against the Polish government and its Soviet allies "has been deeply disappointing and raises disquieting questions about the ability of the Atlantic alliance to act in concert against Soviet violations of international law."
Administration officials, including Vice President Bush, have appeared here throughout the week in an attempt to explain and win at least some AFL-CIO support for their economic, social and foreign policy programs.
After Bush's visit, AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland charged the administration with practicing "Jonestown economics."
His reference to the Guyana tragedy was characterized as verbal overkill by Bush and some AFL-CIO officials.
"I don't think I would have said that," an executive council member said in a background talk with The Washington Post. "I agree with his point, but I don't think I would have put it quite the same way," the council member said, referring to the Jonestown remark.
But Kirkland was unyielding today. "I don't backtrack, or apologize, or trim a bit of that characterization," he said.
In less colorful, but nonetheless stern language, the executive council today agreed with Kirkland in three resolutions attacking various aspects of the administration's economic program. For example, the council said the president's "new federalism" proposal to shift more federal responsibilities to states is an "ill-considered" plan that "would cripple facilities and services on which all Americans depend and jeopardize the health and welfare of millions of the poor and disadvantaged."
So far, the only Reagan official to achieve modest success in his visit here was Thorne Auchter, assistant labor secretary for occupational safety and health. Auchter met with representatives of the federation's building and trades department, who promised to work with him on matters such as streamlining federal regulations affecting health and safety in the construction industry.