A Sept. 25 article on a briefing by Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan on the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 by the Soviet Union listed some labor leaders who attended. The list came from a Labor Department spokesman. According to Murray Seeger, director of information for the AFL-CIO, listed labor leaders J.C. Turner, John Sweeney, Edward Carlough and Frank Raftery did not attend.
Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan, latching onto an issue that would normally be beyond his purview, held a closed-door briefing for labor leaders Friday on the Soviet destruction of a Korean jetliner.
A Donovan aide said the unusual meeting was not meant to be a political event. But the session at the State Department was one of the largest meetings an administration official has ever had with union leaders.
Many of those leaders share the administration's anti-Soviet instincts even as they oppose its domestic policies, and Donovan--who has been on the outs with labor and has been regarded by some in the White House as a political liability--seized on labor's anti-Soviet sentiments.
Donovan cleared the briefing with the White House through Craig Fuller, assistant to the president for Cabinet affairs, according to Michael Volpe, a Donovan spokesman.
In his remarks at the briefing, where the voice tape of the Soviet pilot shooting down the plane was played, Donovan applauded the union leaders for their response to the Sept. 1 incident.
"Your reactions and those of your members have manifested into positive, effective activities which bring a clear, unequivocal message to the Soviets and any others who contemplate such acts of savagery...," the labor secretary said in prepared remarks. "The moral impact of such independent union actions on those captive in the so-called 'workers' paradise' is immeasurable. The honest outrage and shock of the American working people is indeed a powerful weapon."
Among the union leaders attending the meeting were Richard Trumka, president of the United Mine Workers; William F. Genoese, representing Teamsters president Jackie Presser; John H. Lyons of the Ironworkers, J.C. Turner of the Operating Engineers, John Sweeney of the Service Employes, Edward Carlough of the Sheet Metal Workers and Frank Raferty, president of the Painters union.
Theodore W. (Teddy) Gleason, president of the International Longshoremen's Association and chairman of the AFL-CIO's standing committee on international affairs, was part of the panel, which included Donovan, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, undersecretary of state for political affairs; Richard R. Burt, assistant secretary for European affairs; Henry Duffy, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, and William Gill, president of the Flight Engineers' International Association.
Donovan wrote Gleason Sept. 19 asking help in bringing labor officials to the briefing because of "the great concern expressed to me by many labor leaders over this incident....I feel it is of vital importance to insure that you are fully informed of the details surrounding this situation and that the administration receive your reactions to the Soviet attack."