In Monday's editions of The Washington Post, Lane Kirkland, president of the AFL-CIO, was erroneously reported as having appeared on the CBS Sunday television news interview program, "Face the Nation." Kirkland was on the ABC news interview program, "This Week With David Brinkley."
Two of the nation's premier labor leaders attacked President Reagan's economic policies yesterday and once again demanded trade policy changes to prevent countries like Japan from reaping the benefits of the American marketplace without reciprocating.
"Reaganomics is a blind cave," AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland said in a statement marking the 100th anniversary of Labor Day. "There is no light at the end of the tunnel of recession, unemployment and national decline into which it has led us."
Unemployment, which is at a post-World War II high of 9.8 percent nationwide with nearly 11 million persons out of work, is "one of the most dangerous forces that can be let loose in a world," Kirkland said. It is a "disease that withers the human potential."
Douglas A. Fraser, head of the 1.2 million-member United Auto Workers union, predicted the nation's auto industry will not recover anytime soon unless there is a "complete change of course in the economic policy of this administration." Such a change, Fraser said, is unlikely.
Both leaders predicted a gloomy future for American workers, particularly those in the auto industry, where joblessness has soared to 20.8 percent.
President Reagan, meanwhile, issued a statement from his ranch in Santa Barbara, Calif., that, making no mention of unemployment, praised the historic contributions of working men and women and promised that better economic times are ahead.
"Following the dictum of Thomas Jefferson not to 'take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned,' we have reduced taxes and improved incentives for expansion that will rekindle economic growth," Reagan said. "By working together we can successfully deal with the problems facing us. . . . "
While Kirkland and Fraser blasted Reagan, their harshest criticism in television interview appearances yesterday was aimed at the Japanese.
Appearing on "Meet the Press" (NBC, WRC), Fraser said, "Our country behaves as fools in our trade relationship with Japan. All we do is espouse the slogan of free trade without considering whether or not it's fair trade and Japanese keep out our citrus fruits, keep out our beef, keep out our tobacco."
Fraser said auto "content" legislation pending in Congress could help the auto workers. Among other things, it would require foreign auto makers to manufacture at least 25 percent of their car parts in the United States if their sales here reached 100,000 units a year. That percentage would move to 90 percent if sales hit 500,000 a year.
Fraser estimated that foreign auto makers will sell 2 million cars in the United States this year. The Reagan administration opposes the bill on the grounds it would lead to retaliatory trade barriers.
"We don't want to keep out the Japanese cars," Fraser said. "We want the Japanese to locate here, to build here, to invest here and create jobs here."
On another matter, Kirkland said on "Face the Nation" (CBS, WDVM) that it doesn't matter if Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan, who is under investigation by a special federal prosecutor, resigns or stays on the job. "I think the department has been effectively dismantled," Kirkland said. "I presume it was done on the orders of the White House as a matter of administration policy. Its historic role as a defender of the welfare of wage earners has been perverted.
"The basic problem is not with the building superintendent who occupies the chair in the Labor Department but with the landlord in the White House."