Russian Labor Activists Still See CIA in AFL-CIO
Justin Burke,, The Christian Science Monitor
IN the aftermath of the Soviet collapse, the unthinkable has become reality in many instances.
Such is the case for Tom Bradley, an AFL-CIO organizer who opened the organization's office in Moscow last year.
In the Soviet era it would have been impossible for the AFL-CIO to have a presence in Moscow, Mr. Bradley says, because Soviet propagandists accused the US labor organization of being a capitalist lackey. Now the AFL-CIO, at the invitation of the Russian government, is advising Russia's fledgling independent trade union movement.
But not everything has changed since the cold-war days, Bradley notes. In the eyes of Russia's trade union establishment - the successor of the former Soviet Union's official trade union movement - Bradley is a Central Intelligence Agency operative bent on destabilizing Russia.
"Annually between $7- and $10-million in CIA and US Information Agency funds are funneled, via the AFL-CIO, to the so-called `alternative trade union movement,' " read a bulletin signed by "a group of experts" of the Russian Federation of Independent Labor Unions, the main labor organization.
Accusations against foreign organizations, such as those leveled against the AFL-CIO, are not uncommon these days in Russia. Pressed by economic and political crisis, along with an epidemic of crime and corruption, a feeling among some Russian officials is growing that foreigners are stirring up problems. …